Traffic Safety Countermeasures

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida created an educational countermeasure series based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The three videos below highlight cost effective safety engineering countermeasures which help reduce lane departure crashes and intersection crashes, and protect vulnerable road users.

Lane Departure Countermeasures
Intersection Countermeasures
Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures

These top three safety emphasis areas are part of Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan and FDOT’s Vital Few safety focus. Fifteen digital cards were created to share, download, and print for Community Traffic Safety Team members, which include the 4E’s (Engineers, Educators, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Personnel), city/county/state agencies, private industries, and local citizens. Visit the three blogposts below for more information and to access the educational cards.

Five Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Preventing Roadway Departures:

  • Curves – Enhanced Delineation (Curve Signs) and Increased Pavement Friction
  • Rumbles – Center Line, Edge Line and Shoulder Rumble Strips and Stripes 
  • Barriers – Roadside and Median Barrier Terminals and Crash Cushions
  • Clear Zone – Clear Zones and Widening Shoulders Provide for a Safe Recovery 
  • SafetyEdgeSM – SafetyEdgeSM Technology Shapes Edge of Pavement at 30 Degrees

Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Intersection Crashes:

  • Roundabouts Reduce Severe Crashes
  • Backplates with Retroreflective Borders
  • Left and Right Turn Lanes at Intersections Reduce Severe Crashes
  • Well-Timed Yellow Change Intervals Reduce Red-Light Running
  • Benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signal

Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes:

  • Walkways, Shared Use Paths, and Sidewalks Improve Safety and Mobility
  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) Give Pedestrians a Head Start
  • Pedestrian Crossing Islands and Medians Reduce Pedestrian Crashes
  • Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) Assist with Safe Crossing 
  • Road Diets – Roadway Reconfigurations Improve Safety for All Road Users

Additional Resources and Information:

National School Bus Safety Week

This year’s National School Bus Safety Week (NSBSW) takes place October 18-22, 2021. The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program is highlighting school bus safety tips and information to share. Please join us in advocating for school bus safety to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roadways.

Every year, approximately 440,000 public school buses travel more than 4 billion miles and daily transport 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities. School buses account for an estimated 10 billion student trips each year.*

School's Open - Drive Carefully art

Also in honor of National School Bus Safety Week, we would like to thank all bus drivers and also acknowledge the shortage in our local communities. We appreciate everyone working together to make sure children get to school and back home safely. 

School Bus Safety Rules for Drivers

  • Learn and obey the school bus laws in your state.
  • Be sure to acquaint yourself with the flashing light system that school bus drivers use to alert motorists.
  • Yellow flashing lights mean that the school bus is preparing to stop. Motorists should slow down and be ready to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm indicate that the school bus has stopped, and children are boarding or exiting.
  • Two-lane road: all vehicles in both directions must stop.
  • On a divided highway with a raised median, unpaved space, or a physical barrier of at least five feet: vehicles traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.
  • Divided highway where no median or barrier exists: all vehicles are mandated to stop.
School bus dangers art

School Bus Safety Reminders for Students

  • Arrive early.
  • Don’t push or cut in line.
  • Stay out of the “danger zone,” 10 steps away from the bus.
  • Wait for the bus driver to open the door before trying to get on.
  • Keep aisle clear of your backpack, bag, or books.
  • Talk quietly during the entire bus ride.
  • Keep your hands, arms, and head inside the bus at all times.
  • Walk in front of the bus to cross the street, never behind it.

National Coalition for Safer Roads introduced the theme Expect the Unexpected. Know the Danger Zone. Click here to check out what they have to offer this year.

Additional Safety Information and Resources for Drivers and Children:

*source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Protect Vulnerable Road Users

Presenting Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures. FDOT District Two CTSP continues the educational countermeasure series based on proven measures of effectiveness by the FHWA. These pieces outline countermeasures to improve safety for people traveling by foot, wheelchair, or bicycle.

Click on the five educational Pedestrian/Bicyclist Countermeasures cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Traffic Safety Teams, communities, and agencies.

Many of the serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists occur during dark or dusk hours. They also occur outside of marked crosswalks or bicycle lanes. Motorist speed is one of the major factors that can mean the difference between a minor injury and a serious injury or fatality. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings, configurations and traffic lights reduce serious injury and fatal crashes. This happens by slowing traffic, allowing more space and safe areas for walkers and cyclists.

Click here for a PDF document of these pedestrian/bicyclist countermeasures cards used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two CTSP.


Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Pedestrian-Vehicle Crashes:

1. Walkways, shared use paths, and sidewalks improve safety and mobility.

Pedestrian walkways are pathways for use by people traveling by foot or using a wheelchair that are separated from motor vehicle traffic by a space, barrier, or curb and gutter. Northeast Florida integrates and maintains accessible walkways, shared use paths, sidewalks, and roadway shoulders into the transportation system in both urban and rural areas, providing safer spaces for pedestrians to walk.

2. Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs) give pedestrians a head start. 

LPIs allow pedestrians to enter an intersection a few seconds before vehicles get a green light or have priority to turn. Benefits of LPIs include increased visibility of crossing pedestrians, reduced conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles, more likelihood of motorists yielding to pedestrians, and better safety for pedestrians who may be slower to start into the intersection. 

3. Pedestrian crossing islands and medians reduce pedestrian crashes. 

Raised medians and pedestrian crossing islands separate motorized and non-motorized road users. To safely cross a roadway, pedestrians need to estimate vehicle speeds, adjust their walking speed, determine gaps in traffic, and predict vehicle paths. Pavement markings, raised medians, or islands help improve pedestrian safety by allowing walkers to cross one direction of traffic at a time. This proven pedestrian safety countermeasure is used in Northeast Florida in curbed sections of urban and suburban multi-lane roadways. 

4. Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) assist with safe crossing. 

PHBs help pedestrians safely cross busy or higher-speed roadways at midblock crossings and uncontrolled intersections, where a majority of pedestrian fatalities occur. A PHB lets motorists proceed when a pedestrian has cleared the travel lane. For more information and details about PHBs, please visit: trafficsafetyteam.org/pedestrian-hybrid-beacon.

5. Roadway reconfigurations improve safety for all road users. 

A “road diet” typically reconfigures a four-lane undivided road into a three-lane road with a center left-turn lane and two through lanes. This can reduce rear-end, left-turn, and right-angle crashes. It also allows for the installation of pedestrian refuge islands, bicycle lanes, on-street parking, or transit stops. Road diets help calm traffic and provide better mobility and provide access that accommodates the needs of pedestrians with fewer lanes to cross and more space for cyclists. 


Intersection Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Intersection Crashes 

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program in Northeast Florida continues the educational series of proven safety countermeasures. These five informational pieces help explain intersection countermeasures. The traffic safety strategies and treatments of roadway markings and traffic lights at intersections reduce serious injury and fatal crashes. They are based on proven measures of effectiveness by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Click on the five educational Intersection Countermeasure cards below to download a copy. They may be printed or shared digitally through email or social media with our Northeast Florida Traffic Safety Teams, communities and agencies.

Motorists and other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, cross paths at intersections. This is where the greatest potential for roadway conflicts exist. Turning, changing lanes and traveling through intersections are among the most complex in the transportation system. They require appropriate roadway design, signage, traffic control devices, lighting, and other safety measures. Innovative safety improvements and operations at signalized and unsignalized intersections can help enhance everyone’s safety.

Click here for a PDF document of these intersection countermeasures used in Northeast Florida, provided by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program.

Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Reducing Intersection Crashes:

1. Roundabouts Reduce Severe Crashes

Roundabouts are a circular intersection that feature channelized approaches and a center island that safely and efficiently moves traffic. Motorists entering the roundabout yield to vehicles already circulating which leads to improved operational performance. Roundabouts are an effective countermeasure resulting in lower speeds and fewer conflict points.

2. Backplates with Retroreflective Borders

Backplates are a low cost countermeasure being introduced in Northeast Florida on traffic signal heads to improve visibility of the illuminated face. The dark backplate provides a controlled-contrast background. The framing with a retroreflective border makes the signal easily seen in both daytime and nighttime conditions. This treatment enhances visibility for aging motorists and color vision deficient drivers, and is also beneficial during power outages or inclement weather, providing a visible cue for all motorists.

3. Left and Right Turn Lanes at Intersections Reduce Severe Crashes

Left or right auxiliary turn lanes provide measurable safety and operational benefits at intersections, reducing the number of crashes. Turn lanes give a physical separation between slower turning traffic and the free flowing main route of traffic. They provide space for deceleration prior to a turn and storage for vehicles that have stopped and are waiting to complete a turn.

4. Well-Timed Yellow Change Intervals Reduce Red-Light Running 

Red-light running is a leading cause of severe crashes at signalized intersections, and it is critical that the length of time a yellow signal is displayed following a green signal is appropriately timed. If the yellow light changes too quickly, motorists may be unable to stop safely and cause unintentional red-light running. If the yellow light changes too slowly, this may result in drivers treating the yellow signal as an extension of the green phase and invite intentional red-light running.

5. Benefits of the Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signal

Fewer crashes and better traffic flow are benefits of the flashing yellow left turn arrows as an effective engineering countermeasure. The updated design of left turn signals with a flashing yellow arrow creates a safer, more efficient left turn at intersections. When the flashing yellow arrow is illuminated, drivers must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians, then they may proceed to turn with caution. This new signal system presents motorists with a more direct message and reduces confusion by replacing the green ball with the yellow and green left turn arrows so the display is not the same as the adjacent thru lane. 

Lane Departure Countermeasures

Cost Effective Safety Engineering Countermeasures Help Reduce Lane Departure Crashes 

Many fatal and serious injury crashes in Northeast Florida are the result of lane departures. A series of proven safety countermeasures cards has been created for use by the FDOT District 2 Traffic Safety Team and its communities to help explain safety treatments and strategies that prevent lane departures on our local roadways, proven by FHWA to be effective. Click on the cards below to download and share.

Lane departure crashes include running off the road, crossing the center median into an oncoming lane of traffic, and sideswipe crashes. Running off the road may also involve a rollover or hitting a fixed object.

One of the most severe types of crashes occurs when a vehicle crosses into an opposing traffic lane and crashes head on with an oncoming vehicle. A driver who is speeding, distracted, drowsy, or impaired is likely to have difficulty staying in their lane. Efforts to reduce serious injuries and fatalities resulting from lane departures include keeping vehicles from leaving the road or crossing the center median, reducing the likelihood of vehicles overturning or crashing into roadside objects, and minimizing the severity of an overturn.

View and print this PDF document by the FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program of lane departure countermeasures used in Northeast Florida.

Five Traffic Safety Countermeasures that Work in Preventing Roadway Departures:

1. Curves – Enhanced Delineation (Curve Signs) and Increased Pavement Friction 

Advance warning signs such as chevrons alert drivers to the severity of curvature and operating speed on curves. High friction surface treatment (HFST) compensates at curves where pavement friction is not adequate to support operating speeds. These countermeasure treatments are effective to reduce curve, nighttime and wet road crashes. 

2. Rumbles – Center Line, Edge Line, and Shoulder Rumble Strips and Stripes 

Rumble strips are elements embedded in pavement that cause vibration and sound) to alert drivers if they are leaving the travel lane. These have proven to reduce roadway departure crashes caused by inattentive, distracted, or drowsy drivers who drift from their lane. 

3. Barriers – Roadside and Median Barrier Terminals and Crash Cushions 

Guardrail barriers help reduce crash severity by redirecting and slowing vehicles and protecting them from obstacles such as opposing traffic, rigid fixed objects, bodies of water, or steep slopes. 

4. Clear Zone – Clear Zones and Widening Shoulders

Clear zones are areas free of rigid, fixed objects such as trees and light poles that provide an unobstructed, traversable area beyond the edge of the road. Widening shoulders allows drivers more recovery time to regain control in the event of a roadway departure. 

5. SafetyEdgeSM

SafetyEdgeSM is a paving technique that prevents tire-scrubbing, which often can result in rollovers and run-off-road and head-on crashes by allowing vehicles to safely return to the travel lane. It also improves durability and reduces pavement edge drop-off.