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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-14-050    Date:  June 2014
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-14-050
Date: June 2014


Guidelines for The Implementation of Reduced Lighting on Roadways

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The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Safety Research and Development serves the highway safety community by conducting research that advances safety goals while accommodating practical considerations. The development of methodologies and tools that result from this research can assist practitioners who are looking to make safety-based decisions in the real world. The guidelines presented in this report address the need to maintain the safety effects of roadway lighting while alleviating the budgetary strains associated with the maintenance of the lighting infrastructure.

This report establishes a new set of criteria for practitioners to apply to their roadway environment that will identify appropriate lighting levels for given roadway characteristics and usage. Specifically, these guidelines identify the appropriate applications of adaptive lighting on roadways while maintaining the optimal level of safety. The methodology for applying the criteria is based on existing international standards that accommodate different roadway characteristics and usage. Therefore, practitioners will be familiar with the application of the results but will benefit from an enhanced data collection and statistical approaches when considering adaptive lighting applications.

The adaptive lighting criteria identified in this report are the first to utilize real-world lighting data collection and robust statistical analysis of crash histories of the associated roadways. Ultimately, these Guidelines will provide practitioners with the evidence-based criteria they need to determine the appropriate application of adaptive lighting systems in their jurisdictions. This allows for the unique opportunity to provide significant cost savings while maintaining the optimal level of safety for roadway users.

Monique R. Evans
Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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