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FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

First, the official part:

Quote (https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/mutcd_news.htm )

Termination of Interim Approval 11
On December 21, 2017, the FHWA terminated Interim Approval 11, which permitted the optional use of rectangular rapid flashing beacons. All highway agencies, including those agencies that previously received the FHWA's approval to use rectangular rapid flashing beacons under Interim Approval 11, are prohibited from installing any new rectangular rapid flashing beacons. However, any existing rectangular rapid flashing beacons that are already installed may remain in place until they reach the end of their useful service life.

Now the rumor and innuendo part.

I'm told that FHWA has a rule that only non-proprietary devices can be included in the MUTCD, and the inventor of RRFBs patented his invention and sued companies that were manufacturing them. It's too bad, because research showed these devices work.

RE: FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

I heard the same. One of our traffic consultants who holds a seat on the state MUTCD board confirmed the rumor regarding the inventor obtaining a patent. We are now reevaluating many ped crossings which were specs for RRFBs in the coming year.

I just wrapped a project installing several RRFBs and they are not as bright as I anticipated, and find the still acceptable perimeter signage lights to be much more visible.

RE: FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

That's too bad to hear. The DOT I worked with liked using these and recommended using them on some projects I was on. Is there any equivalent substitute for these?
HAWKs (High Intensity Activated Crosswalks) are also becoming increasingly used at the DOT I was with, but are used on a larger scale than RRFBs.

RE: FHWA rescinds approval of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

timber04, we had people complain that the LEDs in the sign border weren't bright enough, and they complemented the RRFBs.

Milliontown, either round flashing beacons, or LEDs in the sign panel border.

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