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Toll Facilities Workplace Safety Study Report to Congress

Report Cover

United States Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Report Number: FHWA-IF-08-001

August 18, 2010

Table of Contents

  Executive Summary
Study Objectives
Requirements of the SAFETEA-LU Legislation
Technical Panel
Roadmap to the Report
Study Methodology
Literature Review
Agency Survey
Accident/Injury Data
Agency Site Visits
Agency Interviews
Agency Workshop
Findings - Characteristics of Accidents and Injuries Occurring at Toll Plazas
Worker Injuries
Vehicular Crashes
Study Limitations and Recommendations for Archiving of Data in the Future
Findings - Factors Affecting Safety at Toll Plazas
Design of Toll Facilities
Enforcement Practices
Maintenance Practices
Human Factors Issues
Panel Members and Participating Agencies
Literature Review
Agency Survey
Agency Site Visits
Agency Interviews
Additional Strategies Identified
Agency Workshop / Workshop Ratings
Feedback on Strategies from Workshop

List of Tables

Table 3-1.
Worker Injury Data
Table 3-2.
Vehicular Crash Data
Table 3-3.
Number of Injuries by Hour/Time of Day
Table 3-4.
Number (and Proportion) of Injuries by Cause
Table 3-5.
Number (and Proportion) of Injuries by Type of Injury
Table 3-6.
Number (and Proportion) of Injuries by Body Part Injured
Table 3-7.
Number of Crashes by Hour
Table 3-8.
Number of Crashes by Vehicles Involved
Table 3-9.
Number of Crashes by Type (Agency 7 only)

List of Figures

Figure 4-1.
Dedicated ETC Lanes Positioned at Both Sides of a Plaza
Figure 4-2.
Concrete Barriers and Attenuators Physically Separate Traffic Upstream of an Illinois Tollway Plaza
Figure 4-3.
Pavement Markings and Cones Delay Merging Downstream at the NYS Thruway's Holland Tunnel Plaza
Figure 4-4.
The Use of Pavement Markings to Identify Dedicated-ETC Lanes
Figure 4-5.
Open-Road Tolling in Illinois
Figure 4-6.
Tunnels Provide Access to Booths without Exposure to Traffic
Figure 4-7.
Handheld Stop Sign Aids Collector in Crossing Travel Lanes
Figure 4-8.
Clear Plastic Shoulder Bag for Collectors to Use when Crossing
Figure 4-9.
Booths can create a Visual Obstacle when Crossing
Figure 4-10.
Painted Crosswalk for Workers
Figure 4-11.
ManSaver Safety Bar
Figure 4-12.
Various Signs and Markings Remind Collectors of the Dangers of Crossing Lanes
Figure 4-13.
Signs and Stickers in Plaza Building and in the Toll Booth Remind Workers about Safety
Figure 4-14.
Safety Vest
Figure 4-15.
Retroreflective Jacket
Figure 4-16.
Crampons Can Help Collectors Avoid Slips in Snowy and Icy Conditions
Figure 4-17.
Cash Bags Can Facilitate Hands-Free Crossing
Figure 4-18.
Rumble Strips
Figure 4-19.
Handrails on Both Sides of Tunnel Stairways Can Improve Safety
Figure 4-20.
Dynamic Signs Display Current ETC Lane Numbers at a NYS Thruway Plaza
Figure 4-21.
Gates in use to Indicate that a Lane is Closed
Figure 4-22.
Options for Conveying a Closed Lane to Motorists
Figure 4-23.
Enforcement Presence at an MTA Plaza
Figure 4-24.
Sign Notifying Motorists that Plaza Is Photo Enforced
Figure 4-25.
Pavement Markings Reinforce the Speed Limit in Dedicated ETC Lanes
Figure 4-26.
Speed Limits Are Posted at Each Lane To Reinforce Speed Limits
Figure 4-27.
The Use of Transverse Pavement Markings to Reduce Speeding
Figure 4-28.
Florida Turnpike's Overhead Gantry for ORT Allows for Maintenance Activities without Road Closure
Figure 4-29.
"DO NOT BACK UP" Sign to Reduce Unsafe Motorist Behavior
Figure 4-30.
One Option for Conveying that Cash is Accepted in All Lanes
Figure F-1.
Chair with Circular Foot Rest
Figure F-2.
Anti-Fatigue Mat
Figure F-3.
Convex Mirrors Can Reduce Twisting and Turning for Collectors
Figure F-4.
Denver E-470's Adjustable Height Terminal
Figure F-5.
Bumped Out Dutch Doors Can Reduce Twisting and Turning for Collectors
Figure F-6.
Floor Mat in Plaza Building Reminds Employees to "Think Safety"
Figure F-7.
Tracking Employee Performance Publicly Can Be an Incentive for Employees To Follow Safely Procedures
Figure F-8.
Sign in Plaza Office Reminds Employees about Safety Record
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

Toll Facilities Workplace Safety Study Report to Congress

5. Report Date

August 18, 2010

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Jennifer Rephlo, Mark Carter, Mark Robinson, Bryan Katz (SAIC); Ken Philmus

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
8301 Greensboro Drive, Mailstop E-12-3
McLean, VA 221021

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

DTFH61-06-D-00005, Task No. T-06-009

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

United States Department of Transportation
ITS Joint Program Office
Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered


14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

Mr. Ken Jacoby, COTM

16. Abstract

This document presents the findings of a study undertaken to investigate issues surrounding worker and motorist safety in the vicinity of toll collection facilities. The study was undertaken in direct response to Section 1403 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation, and was focused on accomplishing two main objectives: (1) to study the safety of highway toll collection facilities for workers and motorists through data, and through interviews and observations; and (2) to identify recommendations for improving toll facility safety – in the form of safety strategies for consideration by toll agencies. The study involved a review of existing literature, a survey of toll operators, site visits to 7 agencies, interviews with 21 agencies, a workshop with representatives from 20 agencies, and an analysis of available worker injury and motorist crash data. Together these activities provided a better understanding of the safety of toll collection facilities and allowed for identification of a wide range of strategies that toll agencies can consider implementing when looking to improve safety at their toll plazas. The study team obtained records on workplace injuries from 15 agencies (approximately 2,600 records) and records on crashes from 7 agencies (over 10,000 records). However, the data was not broad enough nor consistent enough from one agency to the next to allow significant industry-wide conclusions to be drawn. As a result, a key recommendation of this study is that standardized reporting procedures be implemented across the country whereby tolling agencies would document accidents and injuries occurring in the vicinity of toll plazas in a consistent and comparable manner. The report also recommends that a centralized database be created and maintained to store and organize this data in a searchable format. Based on the accident and injury data collected and the agency interviews conducted, the study did not find evidence to suggest that toll collector fatalities are a frequent occurrence at toll plazas.

17. Key Words

toll collection facilities, toll facility, toll plaza, toll plazas, safety, crashes, crash data, injury data, workplace injuries, accidents, toll workers

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions.

19. Security Classification (of this report)


20. Security Classification (of this page)


21. No of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)
Reproduction of completed page authorized.

ANSI American National Standards Institute
AVI Automatic Vehicle Identification
CCTV Closed-Circuit Television
CO Carbon Monoxide
ETC Electronic Toll Collection
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
GHSA Governors Highway Safety Association
IBTTA International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association
IES Illuminating Engineering Society
MMUCC Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria
MUTCD Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NYS Thruway New York State Thruway
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PANY/NJ Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
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Updated: 06/27/2017
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