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Toll Facility Safety Study Report to Congress

Appendix G - Agency Workshop / Workshop Ratings

Participants of the June 25/26 Toll Facility Safety Study Workshop were asked to review each of the safety strategies that the study team had uncovered throughout the course of this study. The team presented the strategies in 7 categories and the 20 participants were asked to select and rank 3 strategies within each category that they believed would have the greatest potential to improve safety for both workers and customers at toll plazas. The tables that follow present the workshop findings. Each table represents one category; the categories of challenges include: Worker Exposure to Vehicles; Environmental Issues; Ergonomics; Assault;13 Merging and Lane Changing; Speeding; and Driver Confusion and Distraction. Note that the categories presented in the workshop differ slightly from the categories presented in this report. The table titles indicate the category names as presented at the workshop while a footnote below each table indicates the title of the category as presented in Section 4 of this report.

The results are ranked by the number of participants who selected the strategy as among the top three most effective strategies to improve safety in that category. The strategies are listed in the first column, followed by the number and percent of participants who thought it would be the most effective, second most effective, and third most effective. The last two columns show the number and percentage of respondents who selected the strategy as one of the top three most effective in that particular category of strategies.

For example, for the first strategy listed as a potential option for addressing safety issues resulting from merging and lane changing behavior, 15 participants (75 percent) indicated that this was the strategy with the greatest potential to improve safety for workers and customers at toll plazas. Three respondents thought this would be the second most effective strategy, resulting in 90 percent of respondents selecting this as one of the top three strategies to consider when addressing safety issues resulting from merging and lane changing behaviors.

Much of the information gathered through the agency workshop is presented, together with a synthesis of the site visits and interviews, in Section 4, Findings - Factors Affecting Safety at Toll Plazas.

Improving Safety Issues Associated with Worker Exposure to Vehicles14
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Require workers to make eye contact with motorists when crossing. 8 40% 4 20% 0 0% 12 60%
Require workers to wear vests at all times. 2 10% 3 15% 1 5% 6 30%
Locate all dedicated-ETC lanes to the far left of the plaza so that collectors can avoid crossing these lanes. 4 20% 0 0% 1 5% 5 25%
Require workers to signal their intention to the approaching driver and to wait for confirmation from that driver. 2 10% 1 5% 2 10% 5 25%
Require the use of attenuator trucks for all maintenance work requiring a lane closure. 1 5% 0 0% 4 20% 5 25%
Use signs to warn motorists about the potential for workers crossing (e.g., a pedestrian crossing sign at the plaza or a "SLOW DOWN, PROTECT OUR WORKERS" sign). 1 5% 0 0% 4 20% 5 25%
Use "ManSaver bars" to slow collectors down while crossing the plaza. 1 5% 2 10% 1 5% 4 20%
Do not allow workers to cross ETC lanes. 2 10% 2 10% 0 0% 4 20%
Encourage workers to use mutual support when crossing lanes (i.e., the collector in the booth directs the motorist to stop for the crossing collector). 2 10% 0 0% 1 5% 3 15%
Paint pedestrian crosswalks at the plaza. 1 5% 2 10% 0 0% 3 15%
Require maintenance workers to use a "buddy" system (i.e., no maintenance work is done alone). 0 0% 1 5% 2 10% 3 15%
Issue shoulder bags to collectors for hands-free crossing, and consider a high-visibility color such as orange. 1 5% 2 10% 0 0% 3 15%
Eliminate all mixed-mode lanes to reduce uncertainty of motorist behavior. 0 0% 1 5% 1 5% 2 10%
Use pavement markings to remind collectors about the dangers of crossing lanes (e.g., stencil "LOOK" on the pavement, paint "WATCH FOR CARS" on the pavement). 0 0% 2 10% 0 0% 2 10%
Use warning stickers to remind collectors about the dangers of crossing lanes (e.g., on the ground outside the booth doors warning of the potential for injuries when crossing lanes, "WEAR YOUR VEST" sticker on the door collectors pass through as they prepare to cross the plaza). 1 5% 1 5% 0 0% 2 10%
Carefully consider the location of crosswalks (i.e., Upstream of the booth to provide improved sight lines? Downstream of the booth so that vehicles stop prior to crossing? Well downstream of the booth to provide for longer stopping distance?). 0 0% 1 5% 1 5% 2 10%
Require workers to have one hand free while crossing. 1 5% 0 0% 1 5% 2 10%
Encourage workers to give a verbal cue to motorists when crossing (e.g., yell "I'm crossing!") 1 5% 0 0% 1 5% 2 10%
Issue handheld STOP sign paddles to workers to hold while crossing lanes. 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Consider 5 pt. breakaway vests which are designed to come off with minor or no injury if the vest becomes hooked on an object. 0 0% 1 5% 0 0% 1 5%
Label ETC and mixed use lanes differently from the cash-only lanes to remind collectors that vehicles may not stop in these lanes (e.g., with purple lights). 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Use signs to remind collectors about the dangers of crossing lanes (e.g., "BE ALERT HIGH SPEED TRAFFIC," red and white warning signs at the crossing points). 1 5% 0 0% 0 0% 1 5%
Use "YOUR SPEED IS" signs on rear of attenuator trucks. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Use tunnels or bridges to reduce the need for workers to cross lanes. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Provide break areas on either side of larger plazas to reduce lane crossings. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Require a police escort for employees crossing lanes. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Implement a crossing guard who acts like a school crossing guard to escort workers to the booth with a stop sign in hand. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Use vests with battery-powered flashing lights. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Do not allow workers to cross in front of anything larger than an SUV. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Do not allow workers to cross behind a vehicle, or require workers to look both ways in case a vehicle advancing through the plaza suddenly backs up. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Require collectors to look over shoulder at traffic after manually closing a gate to close a lane. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Improving Safety Issues Associated with Environmental Issues 15
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Provide "snow shoes" to reduce slips on ice. 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Provide ear plugs to collectors. 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Limit exposure time of workers at booths with high truck traffic. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Install drain gates at the curb at crossing areas to avoid ponding water and icy conditions. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Ensure that all walkways are covered. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Improving Safety Issues Associated with Ergonomics 16
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective strategy in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Provide floor pads in the booths. 5 25% 5 25% 4 20% 14 70%
Use bumped-out Dutch doors and mirrors on the booths to allow collector to see oncoming traffic and exiting traffic without having to lean. 6 30% 2 10% 2 10% 10 50%
Provide an adjustable height terminal. 2 10% 4 20% 3 15% 9 45%
Provide a chair with adjustable height and swivel, and consider "sit/stand" stools. 1 5% 4 20% 3 15% 8 40%
Provide ergonomic training to reduce repetitive injuries. 4 20% 2 10% 2 10% 8 40%
Instruct collectors never to place hands outside of the booth until after the vehicle has stopped. 2 10% 2 10% 3 15% 7 35%
Make it a policy for collectors to perform validation as their last step so that the gate stays down until the transaction is complete (makes sure that the vehicle does not proceed until the collector is completely done). 0 0% 1 5% 2 10% 3 15%
Provide an adjustable height cash drawer. 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Install shelving in booths to keep items off the floor that can pose a hazard. 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Improving Safety Issues Associated with Merging and Lane Changing Behavior17
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective strategy in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Use physical separation (e.g., concrete barriers) to separate high-speed traffic lanes from cash or mixed use lanes. 15 75% 3 15% 0 0% 18 90%
Make delineators more visible. 3 15% 2 10% 4 20% 9 45%
Channelize traffic downstream of the plaza with delineators so that people won't merge too quickly. 0 0% 3 15% 5 25% 8 40%
Position dedicated-ETC lanes both on the right and left side of select "problem" plazas (e.g., those with nearby on- or off-ramps) to reduce weaving. 0 0% 6 30% 1 5% 7  
Provide a buffer lane (i.e., an unused lane) between ETC and cash customers. 1 5% 2 10% 3 15% 6 30%
Use physical barriers to prevent vehicles in left-most lanes from making unsafe maneuvers to reach off-ramps located immediately downstream of plaza. 0 0% 1 5% 4 20% 5  
Use pop-up delineators to delineate to reduce worker exposure at plazas requiring lane changes throughout the day. 0 0% 3 15% 1 5% 4 20%
Select location of truck-only lanes at the plaza based on feedback from truck drivers on the best configuration. 1 5% 0 0% 2 10% 3  
Improving Safety Issues Associated with Speeding18
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective strategy in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Use automated speed enforcement at plazas (and possibly suspend tags for excessive or repeat violators) 5 25% 5 25% 6 30% 16 80%
Increase enforcement presence at plazas. 2 10% 3 15% 6 30% 11 55%
Use rumble strips in advance of plazas. 6 30% 3 15% 0 0% 9 45%
Double fines for speeding in the vicinity of plazas. 2 10% 2 10% 3 15% 7 35%
Use real-time "YOUR SPEED" signs in each lane at the plaza. 3 15% 1 5% 2 10% 6 30%
Use gates downstream of plazas so that vehicles are required to stop - or at a minimum slow down - while waiting for the gate to lift. 1 5% 2 10% 0 0% 3 15%
Equip maintenance vehicles with red lights (amber on front / red on back) to reduce vehicle speeds near maintenance activities and incident response activities. 0 0% 1 5% 1 5% 2 10%
Post speed limit signs at each lane as a reminder to motorists. 1 5% 0 0% 1 5% 2 10%
Paint the speed limit on the pavement upstream of plazas. 0 0% 1 5% 0 0% 1 5%
Use transverse pavement markings to "trick" motorists into slowing down (markings are spaced progressively closer to provide the illusion that a vehicle is speeding up). 0 0% 1 5% 0 0% 1 5%
Use regulatory speed limit signs instead of advisory signs at plazas. 0 0% 0 0% 1 5% 1 5%
Ensure that speed limits at plazas are consistent with nearby toll authorities. 0 0% 1 5% 0 0% 1 5%
Implement a public outreach campaign targeting speeders (e.g., "GIVE THEM 10" Program which conveys the message that motorists should slow down to 10 mph for the safety of toll plaza employees). 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Improving Safety Issues Associated with Driver Confusion and Distraction19
Strategies Number of participants who identified this strategy as the most effective strategy in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the second most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as the third most effective in this group. % Number of participants who identified this strategy as one of the top three most effective strategies in this group. %
Use variable message signs to convey messages to motorists upstream of the plaza. 3 15% 4 20% 1 5% 8 40%
For plazas where lane assignments change throughout the day, use digital signs in advance of the plaza to let customers know which lanes are currently dedicated to ETC. 0 0% 3 15% 4 20% 7 35%
Use a tall barrier wall to physically prevent motorists in high-speed lanes from stopping and attempting to cross to staffed lanes to pay a toll. 5 25% 1 5% 1 5% 7 35%
Differentiate dedicated high-speed ETC lanes from cash or mixed use lanes with pavement markings (e.g., purple paint at the edges of the high-speed lanes). 1 5% 2 10% 3 15% 6 30%
Use "PREPAID ONLY" signs to label ETC lanes in lieu of only using a brand name (e.g., "SunPass Only"). 3 15% 2 10% 0 0% 5 25%
Include signs on the gate upstream of the plaza to convey to motorists when a lane is closed (e.g., with a LANE CLOSED sign, a STOP sign, a DO NOT ENTER sign, or a red "X"; 3-foot high orange reflectors to aid in visibility for truckers). 2 10% 2 10% 1 5% 5 25%
Post "STAY IN VEHICLE" signs at booths to reduce the occurrence of customers exiting their vehicles. 0 0% 2 10% 2 10% 4 20%
Paint lane numbers on the pavement in advance of the plaza corresponding with lane numbers above the plaza. 2 10% 1 5% 1 5% 4 20%
Use white strobe lighting at plazas to highlight facilities during inclement weather (particularly during foggy conditions). 0 0% 1 5% 2 10% 3 15%
Ban the use of advertisements on plazas to reduce "sign overload." 0 0% 1 5% 2 10% 3 15%
Install a PA system at unmanned booths to enable staff to communicate with motorists remotely (whether from a control center or from another booth or plaza). 1 5% 0 0% 2 10% 3 15%
Create a buffer lane (i.e., an unused lane) between bi-directional traffic at plazas that do not have physical separation between opposite directions of travel. 0 0% 1 5% 0 0% 1 5%
Eliminate violation warning signs or reduce the conspicuity of the violation warning signs to reduce the occurrence of customers exiting their vehicles to pay. 1 5% 0 0% 0 0% 1 5%
Conduct a public education campaign to reduce "wavers" (i.e., educating the public about the risks associated with not properly mounting transponders). 1 5% 0 0% 0 0% 1 5%
Position maintenance trucks with flashing lights and certified flaggers at the rear of a traffic back-up whenever the queue stretches beyond sight of the plaza to prevent rear-end collisions at the end of the queue. 1 5% 0 0% 0 0% 1 5%
Determine sign messaging based on feedback from motorists (e.g., surveys, focus groups). 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%

13 Note that data for the category entitled "Assault" was not able to be retained from the system due to a power outage that occurred during the workshop. [ Return to note 13. ]

14 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Improving Worker Safety when Accessing Toll Booths." [ Return to note 14. ]

15 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Reducing Worker Exposure to the Environment." [ Return to note 15. ]

16 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Improving Ergonomics for Workers." [ Return to note 16. ]

17 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Reducing Unsafe Merging and Lane Changing Behavior." [ Return to note 17. ]

18 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Reducing Speeding." [ Return to note 18. ]

19 Note that strategies discussed here are presented in Section 4 of this report in the category of "Reducing Driver Confusion and driver Inattention." [ Return to note 19. ]

More Information

Contact

Bryan Cawley
Office of Asset Management, Pavements, and Construction
202-366-1333
E-mail Bryan

 
 
Updated: 04/07/2011
 

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration