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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