Investigators

Didier M Valdes Diaz, Ph.D.
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus
Department of Civil Engineering
Benjamin Colucci
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus
Department of Civil Engineering
Alberto Figueroa Medina
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus
Department of Civil Engineering

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Project

ASSESSING A TWO-STEP POSTED SPEED REDUCTION AS A POTENTIAL COUNTERMEASURE TO IMPROVE SAFETY IN SCHOOL ZONES USING DRIVING SIMULATION

According to NHTSA, speeding is a major contributory factor of severe injuries and deaths in school zones. In a study performed at UPRM, data showed that in 68% of schools in the western region of PR, the average speed of users was higher than the posted speed limit and that in 89% of the schools the 85th percentile of the speed was higher than the posted speed limit. A research was made to assess the MUTCD guidelines on where to install signs that alert the driver to slow down and reduce their speed. Although several countermeasures decreased speeding, true compliance with the speed limit was not obtained. To address this issue, the University of Central Florida, developed and tested four countermeasures that could possibly reduce the speeding in school zones. The microsimulation data reported that significant compliance of speed limit was obtained through the implementation of a Two-Step Reduction (TSR). Therefore, speeding in school zones can be reduced through the application of the TSR method. The objective of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of Two-Step Reduction countermeasure in school zones using a driving simulator. A school zone located in the western region of Puerto Rico will be used as a case of study, considering the speeding issues that currently exists due to the proximity to the PR-2, which is a six-lane arterial highway with a posted speed limit of 45 mph. It is expected that this research will significantly improve safety and operational parameters for all road users in the school zone.

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