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Thursday, December 20, 2001

FHWA Report Suggests Ways To Improve Lighting on Roads

A new report by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides several recommendations to improve lighting on roads in the United States based on observations of practices in several European countries.

"Safety is our highest transportation priority," FHWA Administrator Mary Peters said. "This new report gives us several ways in which we can improve lighting on our nation's roads, which in turn can help to save lives and prevent injuries."

The report, "European Road Lighting Technologies," is the product of an April 2000 tour to Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland by a team that included representatives from the FHWA, as well as from state DOTs and the private sector. The team gathered information from European transportation ministries and lighting professionals about research and technology in highway and road lighting systems, tunnel illumination, sign lighting, and methods used to design roadway lighting systems.

In the report, the team developed recommendations for U.S. transportation agencies in areas such as visibility design technique, dynamic road lighting, pavement reflection factors, master lighting plans, and lighting techniques for roundabouts, crosswalks and pedestrian areas. In addition, the team provided recommendations on signs and on equipment quality level and maintenance.

Some of the information from the team could provide a basis to update the "International Guide for Roadway Lighting," which is produced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). AASHTO provides guidelines for roadway design and safety, including the use of lighting.

FHWA's Office of International Programs produced the report. The report is available at: http://www.international.fhwa.dot.gov

 

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