Evaluation of an Active Wildlife-Sensing and Driver-Warning System at Trapper's Point - FHWA-WY-09/03F
Collisions with wildlife are a serious concern on American highways. In Wyoming, the concern has prompted the Wyoming Department of Transportation to construct an experimental wildlife-detection and driver-warning system at Trapper’s Point, north of the town of Pinedale on US Highway 191. The focus of this thesis is two-fold: to develop a framework to determine whether the driver warning system is effective at modifying driver behavior and to develop a framework to determine whether the wildlife detection system reliably detects the presence wildlife on the roadside. Transportation agencies have attempted to solve the deer-vehicle collision problem with a wide variety of solutions. Published literature was reviewed to analyze the effectiveness of these solutions with a spotlight on other active, wildlife-detecting driver warning systems. The system at Trapper’s Point utilizes the Eagle Intrusion Detection System (EIDS), originally developed by Telonics, Inc for military applications. Seismic and passive infrared sensors are designed to detect the presence of wildlife and trigger the flashing lights atop six signs that read “DEER ON ROAD WHEN FLASHING”. Many difficulties with the wildlife detection system and data collection equipment were experienced during this study. This report describes these problems in detail and analyzes the system using three measures of effectiveness: accurate detection of wildlife, changes in driver behavior and crash reduction.