The number of pedestrians killed every year in motor vehicle crashes.
The percentage of pedestrian fatalities that occur at non-intersections.
The percentage of people injured in traffic accidents that were pedestrians.
The effectiveness of crosswalk paint alone at stopping drivers when a pedestrian is present.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Fatality Facts 2018: Pedestrians
- Low number: Federal Highway Administration, Effects of Yellow Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons on Yielding at Multilane Uncontrolled Crosswalks, 2010.
High number: Stapleton, Steven et al., Factors Affecting Driver Yielding Compliance at Uncontrolled Midblock Crosswalks on Low-Speed Roadways, 2017.
Supplementing crosswalk signs with an RRFB has been proven to increase safety and yield rates. This rapid flashing beacon is an improvement on the traditional crosswalk warning light because it uses high-intensity LEDs, which are exceptionally noticeable for drivers both during the day and at night. Their amber color and quick flash pattern (wig-wag + simultaneous or WW+S) make them easily visible when headlight glare, wet roads, or other situations create difficult nighttime lighting conditions. Studies have shown that the RRFBs can improve driver yield rates up to 96% and reduce crashes by 47%.
|Low yield rates at existing crosswalk.||RRFBs get drivers to yield 73-96% of the time.|
|Low-intensity beacons are hard to see, especially during the day.||RRFBs are directional, high-intensity lights that are visible at all hours (Class 1 in the Society of Automotive Engineers [SAE] Standard J595).|
|Drivers are used to existing beacons flashing on and off, so they no longer grab attention.||The rapid flash pattern of the RRFB attracts driver attention (pattern is WW+S, or wig-wag + simultaneous).|
How and where to use RRFBs
RRFBs are one of the best and easiest ways to increase walkability in a community without significant infrastructure changes. Explore our free RRFB Application Guide to design the layout of your RRFBs in multiple road scenarios and learn where they are best used.
A community toolkit for creating safer pedestrian crossings
In support of citizens, local groups, and elected officials advocating for safer local roadways, we’ve compiled a step-by-step Crosswalk Safety Guide and toolkit. Adding or improving crosswalks is one of the most effective ways for cities to achieve safe, walkable streets. It’s our hope this guide makes the crucial work of pedestrian safety a little less confusing and a little easier to implement.
Watch the video
Are RRFBs MUTCD-compliant?
Yes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released Interim Approval 21 on March 20, 2018, which makes the RRFB MUTCD-compliant in the US. RRFB Interim Approval 11, the original RRFB interim approval, was rescinded in December 2017. With IA-21 now in place, state and local agencies can apply for interim approval. Read more about the FHWA memorandum.
Curious about connectivity?
We partnered with leading intelligent transportation systems (ITS) solutions provider Applied Information to develop StreetHub™, a portfolio of beacons and signs that leverages cellular technology to allow authorized personnel to remotely monitor and control their complete network from a single easy-to-use web-based platform. With StreetHub, you can monitor your RRFBs from anywhere, plus collect data, manage alerts, and more—all without having to make a manual site visit.
Additional Resources for RRFBs
An Overview of the Most Effective Crosswalk Treatments
Weighing your options for an unsignalized crossing? Here’s a roundup of your treatment options and how they compare.
Nevada High School Boosts Safety with New RRFB Crosswalk
Learn how a Carmanah system in Reno is helping increase yield rates and improve safety for students, staff, and parents.
RRFB Application Guide
Download this visual guide for the most common RRFB placements and installations at marked, uncontrolled mid-block crosswalks.
Building Crosswalks for Walkable Communities
See how cities across North America are using RRFBs to improve pedestrian safety and build complete streets for all road users.