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Road Weather Management > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs


A variety of roadside technologies, such as dynamic messages signs and highway advisory radio, can be used to provide travelers with weather-related travel information. Weather specific internet sites and phone information lines may also be implemented. ITS operators may also send information to in-vehicle devices capable of displaying traveler information. Coordination with regional or multimodal traveler information efforts like 511, as well as arterial, freeway and incident management programs, can increase the availability of information on weather conditions along roadways.


Post warning messages on DMS that describe how drivers should react to hazardous conditions rather than just notifying them of the hazard ahead.(04/01/2016)

Ensure good data quality to successfully integrate weather alert system based upon Road Weather Information Systems.(August 2010)

Provide written procedures and training for issuing warnings to Regional Transportation Management Center operators for successful weather integration. (August 2010)

Use the self-evaluation and integration planning process to create wider awareness of the benefits of weather integration to improve TMC operations.(January 2011)

Prepare in advance for severe weather by staffing enough snow plow operators and ensuring that public information systems will be updated with current weather and road conditions.(March 27, 2007 )

Adopt best practices for integrating emergency information into Transportation Management Center (TMC) operations to improve performance and increase public mobility, safety and security.(2/28/2006)

Invest in research and development for emergency integration.(2/28/2006)

Extend the application of emergency integration best practices to further improve emergency operations.(2/28/2006)

Integrate weather information into Transportation Management Center (TMC) operations to enhance the ability of operators to manage traffic in a more responsive and effective way during weather events.(2/28/2006)

Treat maintenance staff as customers and beneficiaries of ATIS information.(5/1/2005)

Treat system operators as the client and consider their perspectives during ATIS project development.(5/1/2005)

Consider how implementing an ATIS system will impact staffing and training requirements.(5/1/2005)

Consider that ATIS deployment in rural and/or remote areas presents special challenges.(5/1/2005)

Minimize problems in creating contractual arrangements for testing a new ITS technology by creating negotiating benchmarks, designing a partnership arrangement, and developing a separate procurement process for different technological components. (3/1/1999)

Carefully select a project manager to be responsible for deployment and testing of new ITS technology.(3/1/1999)

Anticipate challenges with the ITS technology being tested, including problems with software modification and adaptation of previously developed technology.(3/1/1999)

Drivers are more accepting of on-road dynamic messages/warnings than in-vehicle message/warnings.(09/18/2019)

Weather Notification System issues on time alerts 88.9 percent of time, but message coverage remains incomplete.(August 2010)

UDOT winter maintenance program saved $2.2 million per year in labor and material costs for winter maintenance, yielding a benefit-cost ratio of 10:1 by implementing agency coordination and integration policies.(06/30/2011)

In Finland, a benefit-cost analysis supported the deployment of weather information controlled variable speed limits on highly trafficked road segments.(25 March 2006)

In North Carolina, a wet pavement detection system on I-85 yielded a 39 percent reduction in the annual crash rate under wet conditions.(August 2004)

In Salt Lake City, Utah the ADVISE fog warning system tested on a two-mile section of I-215 promoted more uniform traffic flow, reducing vehicle speed variability by 22 percent while speeds increased 11 percent.(June 2003)

A study of travelers on Snoqualmie Pass, WA found that DMS can decrease mean driving speeds and reduce accident severity.(December 2001)

In Tennessee, a fog detection and warning system implemented in 1994 significantly improved safety as no fog-related accidents have occurred since implementation.(October 2000)

An automated wet pavement warning system installed on a freeway ramp in Ft. Lauderdale reduced vehicle speeds by 10.2 mi/hr during heavy rain and by 4.6 mi/hr during periods of light rain. (6-10 August 2000)

In Finland, road weather information posted on dynamic message signs was well perceived and remembered by surveyed drivers; 90 percent deemed variable speed limit signs useful.(December 1995)

In Finland, a road weather information system with variable speed limit signs was projected to decrease the average vehicle speed by 0.4 to 1.4 percent and reduce the annual crash rate by 8 to 25 percent.(December 1995)

In Finland, a road weather information system with variable speed limit signs was projected to yield a benefit-to-cost ratio ranging from 0.6:1 to 1.6:1 depending on the influence of the system on vehicle speeds and crash rate.(December 1995)

In London, an automatic fog detection system that used freeway dynamic message signs to warn drivers of fog reduced traffic speeds by an average of 1.8 mi/h.(1993)

I-70 Corridor ITS Study identifies system costs for several technology applications.(June 2010)

The Pennsylvania (PA) Turnpike Commission expanded its statewide advanced traveler information system (ATIS) to better inform motorists of traffic, weather, and emergency conditions along the PA Turnpike. The overall project cost was $8.2 million.(April 2006)

In Finland, the average implementation cost for a weather responsive roadside VSL system on a dual carriageway was estimated at 80,000€; average maintenance costs (including replacement costs) were estimated at 3,500 €/km/year. (25 March 2006)

TMC central hardware costs can exceed $200,000 if regional communications and system integration are required.(5 August 2004)

A variable speed limit system consisting of multiple ITS components and covering 40 miles over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington was designed and implemented for $5 million.(November 2001)