Consistency of video detection activation and deactivation times between day and night periods

Avery Rhodes, Kristofer Jennings, Darcy M. Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Video detection has become an increasingly popular technology for vehicle detection at signalized intersections. Among the potential disadvantages of this technology is the tendency of video detectors to activate early at night due to headlight reflection on the pavement. This early activation results in a dramatic increase in the length of the effective vehicle detection zone. This observed variation in the effective length of the vehicle detection zone that varies by ambient lighting condition and camera placement presents a very serious impediment for traffic engineers to design vehicle extension intervals that operate consistently during day, night, and transition periods. Further, the stochastic variation in the length of the vehicle detection zone length has the potential to create driver expectancy issues. Tables are included that report the observed average and range of detection zone length variations for 16 observed video cameras that were extensively calibrated by the manufacturer at the test site. The paper concludes by recommending near-side placement of video detection devices to reduce the stochastic variation in detection zone length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Statistics
  • Traffic control devices
  • Traffic management
  • Traffic signals
  • Traffic surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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