Evaluation of work zone intrusion alarm systems

Safety is a major work zone concern; this concern is heightened for workers that work near travelling public. Motorists and passengers are more vulnerable and have a greater likelihood to be injured or killed from a work zone crash. The prevalence of work zone crashes was 45 percent in California in 2014. Work Zone Intrusion Alarm (WZIA) systems are innovative safety devices with the technology to provide auditory alert in work zones following a vehicle intrusion. These devices typically have a detection, transmitter, and auditory alert unit, with some devices having a visual and/or personal safety alert unit. The objective of this thesis is to assess the effectiveness of WZIAs. The objective was achieved with a combination of a qualitative and quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis revealed the potential of the devices. The quantitative analysis resulted from a pilot test of three WZIA systems: the Traffic Guard Worker Alert System, SonoBlaster and Intellicone. The research found WZIAs to be effective but recommends improvement to the systems’ functional characteristics. The findings and recommendations presented in this research will assist in the widespread implementation of Work Zone Intrusion Alarm systems. This thesis concludes with future research suggestions that will expand on this research’s findings.