Close this search box.

Coordinated Speed Management Systems to Reduce Speed-Related Crashes on Rural Roadways: Augmented Speed Enforcement (ASE)

Project #: 4W3215
Start Date: 06/01/2010
End Date: 12/31/2012
Status: Completed

As described in the final report, the purpose of the augmented Speed Enforcement (aSE) project was to detect and warn speeding vehicles in a work zone and provide warnings to work zone workers. The system developed by Montana State University consists of 28 orange traffic drums (called smart drums or sDrums) that were positioned adjacent to the orange cones marking the work zone lane closure. When the system detects a speeding vehicle approaching, it synchronously flashes the orange lights on top of the drums, warning the driver to slow down and the workers of a speeding vehicle. If the vehicle speed is above a set trigger speed, the system activates a pager system that warns the workers of the speeding vehicle. The system was deployed for four weeks near Los Banos, CA to evaluate its effectiveness and deployability. Evaluation of speed data appears to show that the system does have an impact in reducing overall average speed and percentage of vehicles traveling at high speeds. Deployment of the system was found to be labor intensive and time consuming since it needs to be deployed and retrieved every day.


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) proposes an innovative safety program consistent with the objectives of the Rural Safety Innovation Program to reduce speed related crashes with coordinated speed management systems. This proposal is a joint effort between the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (WTI) and both the Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at University of California, Berkeley (UCB) The vision for this program is to integrate four components – Education, Engineering, Enforcement, and Emergency Medical Services – to actively counter a high crash rate related to speeding on rural highways. The core research issue will be to investigate whether the deployment of an Augmented Speed Enforcement (aSE) system will change driver behavior and reduce crash rates. This system is differentiated from Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) by using real time information about speed violators to support on road enforcement actions by California Highway Patrol (CHP). As a “Day One” application, this project will develop an aSE for deployment in rural work zones. The system developed and lessons learned in this project will then be used to prepare for wide scale deployment in a speed safety program that targets all forms of speeding along rural highways. Task Descriptions


The long-term goal of this project is to develop and evaluate system concepts that can be implemented across the rural road network to reduce speed related crashes. As a first step, the immediate objective if this first phase of research is to deploy a system to reduce speed violations (citations) and the number of speed related incidents at work zones on rural highways.


  • Zhirui (Jared) Ye
    Zhirui (Jared) Ye
  • Nic Ward
    Nic Ward