Impact of Red Lights on Incident Response Time

Project No: 124061

Target Completion Date: June 30, 2025 Safety, Operations, and Traffic Engineering

About the project:

VDOT recently gained approval to install flashing red lights on certain incident management coordinator (IMC) and safety service patrol (SSP) vehicles over a 2-year transition period; previously only amber lights were permitted.  Although this does not constitute full emergency vehicle permissions (such as the ability to violate red lights on traffic signals), the flashing red lights may encourage motorists to pull to the shoulder.  This may improve VDOT’s incident response during congestion. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of IMC flashing red lights on incident response, with an emphasis on changes in incident response time and clearance time. The findings will help VDOT make informed decision on incident management strategies/investment, including the decision on whether to pursue additional emergency vehicle privileges for IMC/SSP vehicles.

Project Team

Co-Principal Investigators

Last updated: October 29, 2023

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