Transportation Data Requirements: Evaluation of Portable Traffic Recorders

Report No: 78-R58

Published in 1978

About the report:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the Department's portable traffic recorder models under diverse types of traffic conditions. The study was conducted by (1) reviewing the characteristics of five models of traffic recorders, (2) selecting six field study sites, and (3) devising procedures for testing the recorders. Combined data from the six study sites revealed that the ranking of the traffic recorders in descending order of accuracy was: (1) Stevens, (2) Streeter Amet (SA) MR lOl-A, (3) SA-Traficounter, (4) K-Hill, and (5) SA-Traficounter Junior. The low relative errors obtained with the Stevens (1.9%) and SA-MR lOl-A (2.6%) demonstrated that they are capable of meeting high accuracy standards. It is recommended that the practice of using two traffic recorders on divided highways should be replaced where conditions permit by the use of a plastic tee-joint to connect two road hoses to one recorder in the median area. A study of the types and rates of malfunctions of the recorders is also recommended.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Robert F. Jordan

Last updated: January 27, 2024

Alert Icon

Please note that this file is not ADA compliant. Choose one of below options: