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On the speed reduction potential of pilot vehicle use in work zones
journal contributionposted on 2016-03-01, 00:00 authored by Ashim DebnathAshim Debnath, R Blackman, N Haworth
Despite significant research efforts to understand the speed reduction potential of work zone interventions, little is known about the reductions achievable by the use of pilot vehicles. This paper innovatively examines the speed reduction potential of pilot vehicles in a Queensland rural highway work zone. Analysis of five days' speed data showed that pilot vehicles reduced mean speeds at the treatment location, but not downstream. The proportion of speeding vehicles was also reduced, particularly those travelling at 10 km/h or more above the posted limit. Motorists were more likely to speed during the day, under a 40 km/h limit and when traffic volumes were higher. Although it is commonly believed that the pilot vehicle controls the speeds of all following vehicles, results of this study showed that the pilot car had greater effects on reducing speeds of vehicles following it closely than on those that are far behind in a traffic stream. To maximise these benefits, it is necessary to ensure that the pilot vehicle itself is not speeding.