Safety evaluation of flashing amber operation at signalized intersections

D. Mahalel, A. Peled, M. Livneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The safety of a flashing amber signal for all directions at off-peak hours as a replacement for regular traffic signal operations was evaluated. The proposed control strategy was motivated by the need for energy conservation through reduced amounts of acceleration and of idling time of vehicles. The methodology of the study employed as a measure a broadened definition of "conflict" that freed observers from the need to detect only emergency evasive manoeuvres and decreased their subjective interpretations. Observations were carried out by trained observers at a sample of intersections, using two control strategies: full signal operation and flashing amber phase. Stationed at each leg of an intersection, the observers noted the travel direction of any two vehicles involved in a conflict. The results showed that the most frequent type of conflict under full signal operation was of the rear-end type; during the flashing amber operation, crossing and merging conflicts were dominant. It was concluded that up to a volume of 600 vehicles per hour, flashing operation does not increase the number of conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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