TRS: Road Weather and Creative Safety Messaging On Dynamic Message Signs

ImageStatus:  Complete
Report Date:  10/30/2019


Transportation agencies use dynamic message signs (DMS) to warn motorists in real time about incidents, roadwork or congestion downstream that may be potential safety hazards or may cause delays. MnDOT has limited use of DMS for weather-related messages such as blizzard warnings or other unexpected or isolated conditions because of concerns about the timeliness and potential overuse of these messages. Generating weather-related messages on DMS in response to specific National Weather Service reports, maintenance decision support systems or roadside weather sensors could contribute to the safety and mobility of travelers on Minnesota roads and enhance the timeliness, accuracy and efficacy of these messages in the state. To inform development of a MnDOT system that automatically deploys weather-related messages to DMS, researchers conducted two online surveys. The first survey gathered information from state departments of transportation about current agency DMS messaging practices. The second survey assessed the public's awareness of and response to weather-related messages that appear on DMS. Findings from both surveys are supplemented with domestic and international resources obtained in a literature search.

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