Modifications to traffic signal operation to improve safety for alcohol-affected pedestrians
Alcohol-affected pedestrians are among the highest-risk groups involved in pedestrian casualty crashes. A range of treatments and programs have been implemented to increase safety for intoxicated pedestrians, with limited widespread success, including pedestrian fencing, alcohol accords, responsible serving of alcohol course, and the use of designated drivers. This paper investigates the opportunities to use a modified form of traffic signal operation during high-risk periods and at high-risk locations to reduce alcohol-affected pedestrian crashes and the severity of injuries that might otherwise occur. The ?Dwell-on-Red? treatment involves displaying red to all vehicle directions during periods when no vehicular traffic was detected by the signals, so that drivers approach high-risk intersections at a lower speed than if a green signal were displayed as they approached. Once detected, drivers would receive a green signal in the normal way, and when vehicle demand has ceased, the signals would revert to red in all directions. This paper presents the preliminary outcomes from an evaluation of this candidate treatment in Ballarat. These preliminary analyses show that the treatment led to significant reductions in vehicle speed. Further analyses will explore the effect of the treatment on the proportion of vehicles travelling at threatening speeds for pedestrian crash and injury risk.