FHWA terminates interim approval of RRFBs in the United States

Learn your next steps

On December 21, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) terminated the Interim Approval for Optional Use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (IA-11). The FHWA’s position, as stated in their termination announcement, is that the RRFB is subject to current and pending patents and, as such, may not be included in the MUTCD or any interim approval. If you have not yet read the notice, it can be viewed here.

What if I have RRFBs installed already or I have a project in progress?

Any new RRFB installation after Dec. 21, 2017, is not an MUTCD-compliant treatment. Seek professional advice to ensure your compliance. Installed RRFBs may remain in place until the end of their useful life; there is no reason to retrofit or replace them immediately, as their effectiveness is not in question. We continue to manufacture RRFBs for other markets, so we continue to provide customer support for US-installed RRFBs.

UPDATE: January 29, 2018
The FHWA has updated their stance on ongoing RRFB projects. Agencies that had previously requested and received approval from FHWA can complete projects that have documentation of RRFBs with procurements issued and/or construction plans underway prior to the December 21, 2017, notice. See Q3 on the MUTCD FAQ page for more details.

What can I install instead?

The FHWA’s decision does not make the need for safety at pedestrian crossings disappear. Carmanah’s R820 Crosswalk Flashing Beacon is an MUTCD-compliant, pedestrian activated, solar-powered flashing beacon that can be installed anywhere an RRFB could be chosen. A proven solution, the R820 has 12+ years of successful deployments across North America. Stay tuned, as there will be new additions to the R820 family of products coming soon.


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