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K-State Today

November 14, 2013

K-State transportation research featured in Midwest publication

Submitted by Mary Rankin

Sunanda Dissanayake, associate professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University, is evaluating a low-cost countermeasure devised to reduce accidental and distracted red light violations, which cause thousands of intersection crashes and fatalities annually.

This research was featured in a recent edition of The MATC Update, dedicated to providing insight into ongoing activities of the Mid-America Transportation Center, Region VII, made up of consortium partners Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Missouri, Lincoln University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Dissanayake’s project involves installing a relatively simple system, making a traffic signal much more conspicuous to drivers who might not be paying attention or who suffer from vision impairment. The design consists of a back plate equipped with a reflective border attached directly to the signal head. Her K-State team is installing retroreflective back plates at two intersections in the city of Manhattan and is working with the city of Topeka to install the system at select intersections there. A before-and-after study of red light violations will determine the system’s effectiveness.

The Mid-America Transportation Center facilitates world-class transportation research, education, workforce development and technology transfer initiatives with the central theme of improving safety and minimizing the risk associated with increasing multi-modal freight movements across the U.S. surface transportation system.

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