INSIDE THE DOT
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Refinement of the SHRP Vehicle Intrusion Alarm
The Strategic Highway Research Program produced two devices designed to detect the presence of vehicles penetrating a workzone and then sound an alarm to warn workers of danger. In field tests in New Jersey, both devicesCthe ultrasonic and infrared intrusion alarmsCsounded alarms too often, when maintenance vehicles and even workers moved in the workzone. In a short time, workers began to ignore the alarms. While the concept of a workzone intrusion alarm is good, it appears that credible devices will have to be more sophisticated if they are to distinguish between friendly and threatening objects. Unlike the SHRP devices, which only detect presence, a successful device must consider other factors, such as distance from the workzone, speed, and size. Research is needed to evaluate the limitations of the SHRP devices and define better criteria and devices to alert workzone personnel.
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