The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

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VTrans focuses on safety with use of centerline rumble strips

The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is scheduled to install centerline rumble strips (CLRS) for enhanced safety. This new installation will add to the already 80 miles of CLRS currently in use on Vermont Highways. 50 miles of CLRS are planned statewide this year including 12.8 miles along the Route 4 corridor between Woodstock and Bridgewater.
"Our initial experience with centerline rumble strips has shown an average 18% reduction in crashes where we have deployed them," said Highway Safety and Design Program Manager Ken Robie. "The kinds of crashes they are preventing are also the ones most likely to lead to fatalities so we see this as an important area for investment. A few years ago, we still considered rumbles to be an experiment, but the results are so overwhelmingly positive that now communities are coming to us requesting them."
The rumble strips (also known as audio tactile profiled markings) are a cost-effective safety treatment used to reduce the risk of crossover collisions. Consisting of parallel grooves cut into the centerline of the roadway, tires running over the rumble strips produce sound and vibration when drivers veer out of their lane. The sound and vibration serve to alert motorists to correct their vehicles.
The strips have been used on two-lane roads in other states for over 20 years. The Federal Highway Administration considers the rumble strips to be a proven countermeasure to reduce cross-centerline crashes on roads with a marked centerline. There are 36 states currently using centerline rumble strips. Bad weather conditions like snow, rain and fog often make it difficult for drivers to see the centerlines. The rumble strips help drivers locate the travel lane during inclement weather. There is also improved visibility of the painted strip when the pavement marking is painted on top of the rumble strip.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation is committed to providing a safe and resilient transportation system in the most cost effective and efficient manner.