Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

« back to the list

Safety Evaluation of Flashing Beacons at Stop-Controlled Intersections

Product Type

Journal Article


Srinivasan, R., D.L. Carter, B.N. Persaud, K.A. Eccles, and C. Lyon



Full citation

Srinivasan, R., D.L. Carter, B.N. Persaud, K.A. Eccles, and C. Lyon. Safety Evaluation of Flashing Beacons at Stop-Controlled Intersections. In Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2056, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C., 2008, pp. 77-86.


FHWA organized a pooled fund study of 26 states to evaluate low-cost safety strategies as part of its strategic highway safety effort. One of the strategies chosen to be evaluated was the installation of flashing beacons at stop-controlled intersections. The intent of flashing beacons is to reduce the frequency of crashes related to driver unawareness of stop control. Geometric, traffic, and crash data were obtained at stop-controlled intersections for 64 sites in North Carolina and 42 sites in South Carolina. Empirical Bayes methods were incorporated in a before-after analysis to determine the safety effectiveness of installing flashing beacons while accounting for potential selection bias and regression-to-the-mean effects. Overall, installation of flashing beacons in North Carolina resulted in statistically significant reductions in total, angle, and injury-plus-fatal crashes. The intersections in South Carolina experienced little change following the introduction of flashing beacons, but the combined results from both states still indicated a statistically significant reduction in angle and injury-plus-fatal crashes. An economic analysis indicated that standard flashing beacons can achieve a 2:1 benefit-cost ratio.

Available From

Transportation Research Board

Link To Journal Article

Safety Evaluation of Flashing Beacons at Stop-Controlled Intersections


Before and after studies
Benefit cost analysis
Crash injuries
Empirical Bayes method
Flashing beacons
Highway safety
Stop signs
Stop-controlled intersecti

« Back to the List

HSIS Summaries

HSIS Summary Reports are two to eight pages in length and include a brief description of the issue addressed, data used, methodology applied, significant results, and practical implications.

Read More

Research Reports

A variety of research studies have been performed using data from HSIS. Many of the final reports prepared are now available electronically.

Read More

Technical Summaries

Research reports are often summarized in executive summaries, technical briefs, or other abbreviated formats. Included here are those road safety summaries that involved research using HSIS data.

Read More

Safety Analysis Tools

In addition to conducting research, HSIS resources are also used to develop products that can be used by practitioners in the analysis of safety problems.

Read More

Other Projects

HSIS data are sometimes used in research studies that result in other types of finished products, such as dissertations, theses, and conference proceedings.

Read More