Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Problems. Topic 45-06. Active and Passive Speed Management Methods in Work Zones: Technology and Procedures

In 2009, there were 33,808 persons killed due to accidents on highways in the United States, out of which 667 fatalities were in construction/maintenance zones, representing approximately 2% of the total fatalities. Work zone fatalities and severity of injuries is an impact and cost to society, and more particularly, the safety of work zone personnel and the traveling public, due to the inherent risk of working in close proximity to moving traffic. Excessive traveling speed is often a contributing factor in vehicular crashes, and transportation agencies have managed traffic speeds with use of various passive and active speed control methods. The objective of active and passive work zone speed management is to reduce the number and severity of crashes, while balancing mobility. The study and evaluation of the most suitable applications of each method of work zone speed management is critical because economics, human resources, and logistical constraints may influence the implementation. Also, state laws may not allow use of certain speed management methods in every work zone. Information is necessary to determine effective applications and combinations of known methods best suited for different types of roadways, work zones, and traffic conditions. The 2013 National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) study titled, "Traffic Enforcement Strategies in Work Zones," identifies some of the knowledge gaps in this area, including the coordinated use of enforcement and speed trailers, use of passive versus active enforcement, evaluation of Operation Hardhat , and use of law enforcement. The purpose of this synthesis study is to identify and compile strategies, practices and technologies that transportation agencies have used to manage speeds and reduce the inherent risk in work zones. Information will be assembled through (1) a literature review and study of state policy and manual documentation, (2) a survey of state departments of transportation (DOTs), sent through members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Research, and toll authorities, and (3) follow up interviews with states. Information to be gathered will include, but not be limited to the following: (1) Data regarding the effectiveness of use or combination of active and/or passive methods of speed and queue control in work zones; (2) Combinations of control strategies based on traffic, work zone and roadway conditions that have been utilized; (3) How traffic control strategies are organized and available within transportation agencies; (4) The effectiveness of public campaigns such as Florida's Operation Hardhat, California's Operation "MOVE OVER" or other innovative methods of work zone information dissemination; (5) State conducted research regarding speed management in work zones; and (6) Case examples that illustrate the results of strategies by transportation agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Zwahlen, Tanya

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    1415 Engineering Drive
    Madison, WI  United States  53706
  • Principal Investigators:

    Chitturi, Madhav

  • Start Date: 20131021
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37750

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01547228
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 4 2014 1:00AM