Official: South Dakota road safety system working well
TRIPP, S.D. (AP) — An alert system designed for rural intersections appears to be improving safety in southeastern South Dakota, according to a state transportation official.
The Bon Homme County intersection of South Dakota Highways 37 and 46 was the first in the state to get a Rural Intersection Conflict Warning System, The Daily Republic reported .
The $150,000 system is similar to a regular traffic signal and has a flashing light to alert drivers of oncoming traffic. Before the system was installed in August 2017, the intersection about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Tripp had a blinking stop light and a blinking yellow caution light.
South Dakota Department of Transportation officials said the goal of the new system is to help drivers’ reaction time and eliminate deadly T-bone crashes.
“You have drivers who might not be aware of a stop sign and that flashing beacon is there,” said Mark Leiferman, the department’s program manager for project development. “It’s not going all the time and it’s making you aware of what’s happening on the opposite leg of the intersection.”
The intersection, which sees about 1,100 vehicles daily, only had one right-angle crash and no fatal collisions since the system was installed, officials said. Before the system, the intersection had nine injury incidents and one fatal crash since 2006.
The system’s effectiveness in South Dakota can’t be proven yet since it’s still in the early stages, Leiferman said.
“We still need to monitor it and research it, but we’ve seen generally good things so far,” he said.
Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com