Colorado DOT taps LED rail crossing safety signs

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Fort Worth, Tex.-based CTC, Inc. said Tuesday the Colorado Department of Transportation has obtained 52 "Do Not Stop on Tracks" signs for 26 highway-rail grade crossings in the Centennial State, using light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

The signs feature patented BlinkerSign® technology around the perimeter of the sign. “The LEDs flash 24 | 7 or can be programmed to flash when a vehicle or train is detected near the crossing,” said Danny Fregia, director, Railroad Applications, for CTC.

CTC says that, according to the FRA, Colorado accidents at highway-rail grade crossings are among the lowest in the nation. Nonetheless, in 2012, two fatalities resulted when drivers failed to stop at Colorado crossings when trains were approaching.

“Any tool that we can use to save lives is a welcome addition to our transportation tool kit,” said CDOT Statewide Utilities Engineer Mat Flores. “The flashing lights disrupt a driver’s expectations and should draw his or her attention to the crossing, resulting in a significant safety benefit.”

The signs, ruggedized for railroad application, run on solar power, making them extremely cost-efficient to power. Eight white, high-intensity LEDs border the signs, and each LED light has more than 100,000 hours of life expectancy. The LEDs automatically adjust light output to optimize visibility in day, dusk, or night conditions.