Benefit

A benefit-to-cost assessment shows that a Bluetooth-based system using flashing beacons is the recommended solution to warn drivers of an upcoming school bus stop.

An evaluation for School Bus Stop Ahead warning signs


02/01/2016
Ohio; United States


Summary Information

To improve safety at school bus stops, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) conducted a study to identify available technologies or methods that could actively warn motorists of the presence of a school bus at an upcoming school bus stop. A scan of the current practice found that all States use static School Bus Stop Ahead signs similar to Ohio. A literature search reviewed current practices and research within the transportation industry as well as other relevant industries (e.g., construction, mining) and identified 13 potential technologies for use as a sensor, and four types of warning devices.

Two approaches were taken to evaluate the potential solutions:
  1. The first approach was the traditional benefit-to-cost analysis approach where benefits of each solution (particularly quantified safety benefits from crash reduction) were monetized and compared for three deployment scenarios that were developed to illustrate potential costs.
  2. The second approach was a benefits assessment that qualitatively evaluated each solution across a set of metrics and applying a weighted scale. This qualitative assessment allowed the inclusion of characteristics such as training and coordination needs as well as deployment readiness for each alternative.

Results
  • Both the benefit-to-cost analysis and benefits assessment unanimously support the recommendation of using flashing beacons for the warning device; however, the results of the analysis were not as clear for the sensor technology.
  • The top three sensors based on the benefit-to-cost analysis were Remote control (benefit--to-cost ratio of 5.17), Bluetooth (4.68), and Ultrasonic (4.42).
  • The top three sensors based on the benefits assessment were: (1) Bluetooth, (2 tied) RFID, (2 tied) signal preemption, and (3) time-activated warning. Based on the benefit-to-cost analysis, the benefits are estimated to outweigh the costs for each of these alternatives.

The full results of the benefits assessment are presented in the following table:

RankSensorWarning Device
Weighted Score (out of 5)
1Bluetooth Flashing Beacon
3.95
2 (tied)Radio-frequency identification (RFID) Flashing Beacon
3.90
2 (tied)Signal Preemption Flashing Beacon
3.90
3Time-Activated Warning Device Flashing Beacon
3.85
4Global Positioning System (GPS) Flashing Beacon
3.80
5Remote Control Flashing Beacon
3.70
6 (tied) Video Processing Flashing Beacon
3.50
6 (tied) BluetoothVMS
3.50
7 Signal Preemption VMS
3.45
8 Time-Activated Warning Device VMS
3.40
9 RFIDVMS
3.35
10 (tied)Automatic vehicle location (AVL) Flashing Beacon
3.25
10 (tied) Remote Control VMS
3.25
10 (tied) GPS VMS
3.25
11 (tied) Proximity Sensor Auditory Warning
3.20
11 (tied) Ultrasonic Auditory Warning
3.20
12 (tied) Ultrasonic Flashing Beacon
3.10
12 (tied) Radar Auditory Warning
3.10
13 Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) Flashing Beacon
3.05
14 (tied) Radar Flashing Beacon
3.00
14 (tied) Proximity Sensor Flashing Beacon
3.00
14 (tied) UltrasonicVMS
3.00
14 (tied) Laser Auditory Warning
3.00
14 (tied) Bluetooth Auditory Warning
3.00
15 (tied) Signal Preemption Auditory Warning
2.95
15 (tied) Video Processing VMS
2.95
16 (tied) Laser Flashing Beacon
2.90
16 (tied) AVL VMS
2.90
17 GPS Auditory Warning
2.85
18 (tied) Laser VMS
2.80
18 (tied) RadarVMS
2.80
18 (tied) Proximity Sensor VMS
2.80
19 (tied) Remote Control Auditory Warning
2.75
19 (tied) RFID Auditory Warning
2.75
20 (tied) Time-Activated Warning Device In-vehicle Warning
2.60
20 (tied) DSRC VMS
2.60
21 Video Processing Auditory Warning
2.55
22 UltrasonicIn-vehicle Warning
2.45
23 (tied) RadarIn-vehicle Warning
2.35
23 (tied) Proximity SensorIn-vehicle Warning
2.35
24 Video ProcessingIn-vehicle Warning
2.30
25 (tied) Bluetooth In-vehicle Warning
2.25
25 (tied) LaserIn-vehicle Warning
2.25
26 (tied) AVLAuditory Warning
2.20
26 (tied) RFID In-vehicle Warning
2.20
26 (tied) Signal PreemptionIn-vehicle Warning
2.20
27 (tied) DSRCAuditory Warning
2.00
27 (tied)Remote Control In-vehicle Warning
2.00
27 (tied) GPS In-vehicle Warning
2.00
28 DSRC In-vehicle Warning
1.65
29 AVL In-vehicle Warning
1.45

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Source

Evaluation for School Bus Stop Sign Ahead Signs

Author: Katz, Bryan, et al.

Published By: Ohio Department of Transportation

Source Date: 02/01/2016

URL: http://cdm16007.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p267401ccp2/id/13398

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Goal Areas

Safety
Productivity

Typical Deployment Locations

Statewide

Keywords

None defined

Benefit ID: 2017-01146