Closed-Course Evaluation of Stop Paddles with Embedded Lights Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The safety of crossing guards is important because it is their responsibility to make sure that schoolchildren cross the street safely and efficiently. Through discussions, it was found that crossing guards were very interested in using stop paddles with embedded lights to improve the conspicuity of the paddles. There was a concern, however, that some of the embedded light configurations might negatively affect a motorist's ability to recognize the three critical characteristics that define a stop sign: red background color, octagon shape, and white stop legend. A closed-course human factors study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of five stop paddles with embedded lights as compared with that of a standard, unlit stop paddle. On the basis of the findings from this study, the use of three stop paddle configurations is recommended to improve the conspicuity of crossing guards without negatively affecting a motorist's ability to recognize the three critical characteristics of a stop sign. These configurations are (a) a stop paddle containing flashing red lights arranged in an octagonal pattern at the eight corners of the paddle, (b) a stop paddle containing a series of steady-burn red lights around the border arranged such that the lights clearly convey the octagonal shape of the paddle, and (c) a stop paddle containing a series of flashing red lights around the border arranged such that the lights clearly convey the octagonal shape of the paddle. Because the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices does not currently address the issue of steady-burn lights, agencies should contact FHWA before they use a stop paddle with a steady-burn light configuration.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Finley, M. D., Park, E. S., & Huff, W

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Finley, Melisa D||Park, Eun Sug||Huff, William

publication date

  • January 2012