Crosswalks are a key aspect of a city’s walkability. Yet, they remain a danger zone for pedestrians. In 2019, there were 6,590 pedestrian fatalities in the United States. Using crosswalk paint alone is an ineffective means of stopping drivers when a pedestrian is present. Studies reveal that only 18-28% of drivers will yield under those circumstances.

An RRFB is a pedestrian-actuated traffic device that warns drivers using high-intensity, rapid-flashing yellow LED lights. RRFBs work best in multilane crossings with speed limits of less than 40 mph, and roads with good sight lines (not immediately after a curve). They’re also ideal for areas with significant safety issues such as pedestrian or school crossings.

Research shows that supplementing crosswalk signs with an RRFB improves driver yield rates up to 96% and reduces pedestrian crashes by 47%. The beacons are exceptionally noticeable for drivers during both day and night. Their yellow color and quick flash pattern make them easily visible when headlight glare, wet roads, or other situations create difficult nighttime lighting conditions.

Additionally, the rectangular shape makes a substantial difference. One study showed that using rectangular beacons instead of circular ones boosted yield rates by about 70%.

If you’re interested in learning how to make your community safer for pedestrians and drivers – without making significant infrastructure changes – please contact us for more information.