Safety Evaluation of Flashing Beacons at Stop-Controlled Intersections Academic Article uri icon


  • FHWA organized a pooled fund study of 26 states to evaluate low-cost safety strategies as part of its strategic highway safety effort. One of the strategies chosen to be evaluated was the installation of flashing beacons at stop-controlled intersections. The intent of flashing beacons is to reduce the frequency of crashes related to driver unaware-ness of stop control. Geometric, traffic, and crash data were obtained at stop-controlled intersections for 64 sites in North Carolina and 42 sites in South Carolina. Empirical Bayes methods were incorporated in a beforeafter analysis to determine the safety effectiveness of installing flashing beacons while accounting for potential selection bias and regression-to-the-mean effects. Overall, installation of flashing beacons in North Carolina resulted in statistically significant reductions in total, angle, and injury-plus-fatal crashes. The intersections in South Carolina experienced little change following the introduction of flashing beacons, but the combined results from both states still indicated a statistically significant reduction in angle and injury-plus-fatal crashes. An economic analysis indicated that standard flashing beacons can achieve a 2:1 benefitcost ratio.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Srinivasan, R., Carter, D., Persaud, B., Eccles, K., & Lyon, C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Srinivasan, Raghavan||Carter, Daniel||Persaud, Bhagwant||Eccles, Kimberly||Lyon, Craig

publication date

  • January 2008