Report on Passive Speed Control Devices - Task 20: Speed and Traffic Operations Evaluation

  • Published: MassSAFE, University of Massachusetts prepared for Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau, 2004
  • Authors: MassSAFE, University of Massachusetts
  • Date Added: 07 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2013
  • Format: pdf


This document highlights various passive speed control measures used in the U.S. and around the world. Divided into two sections, the report includes research on longitudinal and transverse pavement markings.


Collation of case study evidence and research into the effectiveness of longitudinal and transverse road markings on traffic speeds.

Key Findings:

  • Instead of regulatory measures, such as signing and traffic calming measures, an alternative way to reduce excessive speeds is to target speed perception. This includes the implementation of road markings.

  • Perceptual countermeasures, or passive speed control measures, serve to alter drivers’ perceptions of the correct speed for a particular road so drivers may assume a lower speed is more appropriate. While regulatory measures require enforcement, traffic calming and passive speed control measures are intended to be self-enforcing.

  • Transverse markings most commonly used are transverse bars and transverse chevrons. These marking patterns may be an effective measure for reducing speeds when placed at decreasing distances so the spacing between markings is continuously reduced in the direction of movement.

  • Reductions in mean driving speed have been reported in studies that implemented transverse markings on the approach to curves. Besides reductions in mean driving speed, reductions in speed variance have also been reported.


Markings, safety, RTIs,


Robust academic report