Officials in Nebraska are beginning
to think a state project of laying rumble strips along Interstate 80 from
border to border is starting to show a difference in accident statistics.
Fatigue-related accidents in Nebraska dropped from 565 in 1998 - the year
before the interstate rumble-strip project began - to 488 last year, according
to the Nebraska State Office of Highway Safety.
State Highway Safety Administrator
Fred Zwonechek reportedly said he believes the strips could be helping. "It
(the strips) certainly could be playing a part," he said. More time is
needed to prove a trend, but Zwonechek said he has seen the strips make a
difference to other drivers when he has been on the road.
The rapid thumping noise made by the
strips have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of motorists driving
off the road due to fatigue. According to the (Lincoln) Journal Star, the
project began in 1999, but rumble strips have a longer history in Nebraska.
They have been included on four-lane expressways since the Legislature created
the classification in 1988. Department of Roads officials say the program
is worthwhile and are making plans to include rumble strips on the other 600
miles of designated expressways in the state.
The rumble strip projects are scheduled
for completion in 2012, with plans subject to change. Plans call for workers
to begin grinding them into the shoulders of existing roadways in 2003.