Effectiveness of pilot car operations in reducing speeds in a long-term rural highway work zone

Debnath, Ashim Kumar, Blackman, Ross A., & Haworth, Narelle L. (2014) Effectiveness of pilot car operations in reducing speeds in a long-term rural highway work zone. In Proceedings of the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C.


Pilot cars are used in one-lane two-way work zones to guide traffic and keep their speeds within posted limits. While many studies have examined the effectiveness of measures to reduce vehicle speeds in work zones, little is known about the reductions achievable through the use of pilot cars. This paper examines the effectiveness of a pilot car in reducing travel speeds in a rural highway work zone in Queensland, Australia. Analysis of speed data covering a period of five days showed that a pilot car reduced average speeds at the treatment location, but not downstream. The proportion of vehicles speeding through the activity area was also reduced, particularly those traveling at 10 km/h or more above the posted limit. Motorists were more likely to speed during the day, under a 40 kh/h limit, when traffic volumes were higher and when there were fewer vehicles in the traffic stream. Medium vehicles were less likely to speed in the presence of a pilot car than light vehicles. To maximize these benefits, it is necessary to ensure that the pilot car itself is not speeding.

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ID Code: 66894
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: work zone safety, roadwork safety, pilot car, pilot vehicle, speeding, speed reduction
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2014 00:38
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 14:33

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