SES America Inc.(SESA), a Rhode Island-based manufacturer of digital, LED signage for the transportation industry has been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for their Blank Out and Lane Control Signs. These models are now included in the MassDOT Qualified Traffic and Control Equipment List under Section 824: Flashing Beacons, Illuminated Warning Signs, and Lighted Barrier Arrows.
Defining the right type of sign for a specific project can be challenging. There are many different reasons and criteria that effect the choice of one product versus another. Designing a Variable Message Sign to solve a road safety challenge requires a thorough process and defined methodology - it is important to ask the right questions.
On one side, choosing the most advanced sign that can display anything, in any color, at any time is the easiest and most unlimited option. However, this often creates other challenges like power issues, monitoring complexity, and exorbitant costs for simple applications.
On the other side, very simple and cheap solutions exists, such as static signs with flashing beacons. Although, this can also have many disadvantages and does not solve most of the problems discussed in one of our previous blogs.
Throughout several blogs, we discussed the benefits of Blank Out Signs (BOS) and Lane Control Signs, and compared their technology against Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) and other types of signs. In this blog, we want to discuss the cost benefits of using Blank Out Signs and Lane Control Signs.
Static MUTCD traffic signs are often used to warn drivers of specific conditions or potential danger on the roadway, and in many applications are equipped with flashing beacons to provide alert capability for passing motorists. However, many of these signs do not efficiently convey information necessary for drivers to fully understand the circumstances and actions to take to avoid danger.
Here below is a series of examples with comments related to the efficiency of the message:
When designing ITS systems intended to convey critical messaging to drivers, transportation agencies must consider the requirements for each deployment, and make choices regarding more versatile, full matrix dynamic message signs versus more affordable blank out signs with limited messaging. Often blank out signs can provide all the messaging functionality needed at a fraction of the cost of full size DMS, and do not require advanced communication networks or other infrastructure required by signs with full messaging capability.