Fleet Management

Tennessee to Use ITS, Rumble Stripes for Safer Highways

April 11, 2001

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High-tech intelligent transportation systems in Nashville and rumble strips across the state are on the Tennessee Department of Transportation's plans to make the state's highways safer.

The agency will install shoulder rumble strips on all interstates and major roads this summer. It expects the project to be completed by Aug. 1. The indented shoulder rumble strips are milled into the pavement about 3/8 to 1/2 inches deep. When the driver begins to veer off the road to the shoulder, the tires travel across the indented strips in succession and make a vibrating sound, or "rumble."
Tennessee has been installing rumble strips on all of its resurfacing projects since 1996. However, there are 315 miles of interstate and other major routes that do not have rumble strips.
"We've already seen about a 31 percent reduction in run-off the road crashes on the areas of our interstate where we've already installed rumble strips," said Transportation Commissioner Bruce Saltsman. "With the increase in run-off the road crashes resulting from distracted drivers, fatigue, drowsiness and poor visibility, we believe rumble strips will help in bringing down crash numbers."
Nashville will get 17 cameras, plus speed sensors and message signs, along 35 miles of highways to monitor traffic flow and let drivers know of travel times and alternate routes. Similar systems have been used in Los Angeles since 1986 and were installed in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics. Camera feeds will be available to the public via the Internet. Officials hope to have the project completed by the end of the year, according to published reports.
Over the next 10 years, officials hope to install similar systems in Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

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