Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced three new safety innovations which will be rolled out throughout the state.  The innovations are: Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs), temporary rumble strips and flashing-yellow, left-turn arrows (pictured, above).

TxDOT

“Safety is best approached using multiple strategies to increase the chances of success,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “There is no amount of over-preparedness when it comes to saving lives. It is our hope that motorists become familiar with these new tools and heed their warnings for their own safety and the safety of others on the road.”

The AFADs will reduce the number of TxDOT personnel needed at certain construction sites and will move flaggers away from potentially dangerous situations.

The new flashing-yellow, left-turn arrows will become the new method of denoting left-turn yield situations.  Currently, left-turn yield is denoted by a solid green light on a traffic signal, usually with a sign denoting left-turn yield. In Texas, the flashing-yellow, left-turn arrows were first used in San Antonio.

Adopted in 2009 by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as the national standard for permissive left-turn signals, the flashing-yellow, left-turn arrows are now being used by TxDOT and local jurisdictions based on successful operation in other locations across the nation.

TxDOT

The final innovation announced by TxDOT is temporary rumble strips.

According to TxDOT, the temporary rumble strips designed to alert and re-focus distracted or drowsy drivers about the possibility of upcoming traffic congestion. They are less than an inch high and look similar to miniature speed-bumps (pictured, right).

The rumble strips are black and rubbery. They are placed five feet apart leading up to roadway work zones. When motorists drive over them, they sound an audible warning vibration in advance of traffic queues, reminding drivers to slow down and watch for slowing or stopped traffic. The rumble strips are designed for motorists to drive over and will not damage vehicles.