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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Work Zone Safety Research and Technology Initiatives


To deploy technologies aimed at mitigating heavy truck crashes in work zones by facilitating Federal, State, and industry stakeholder collaboration and funding State deployment of work zone safety technologies via the Innovative Technology Deployment (ITD) Grant Program.


Work zone crashes disproportionately involve large trucks. For example, in 2015, there were 642 fatal work zone crashes, and 26.9 percent involved at least one large truck. When considering all fatal crashes that took place on the Nation’s highways in 2015, 11.2 percent involved at least one large truck. In other words, fatal crashes in work zones are about 240 percent more likely to involve a large truck as fatal crashes in general.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified the development and deployment of work zone electronic notification systems as a national priority within the ITD Grant Program. Priority funding consideration is given to State applicants seeking to research, test, and deploy work zone and incident electronic notification systems. These projects are only eligible for expanded ITD States. The purpose of these projects is to implement an alert system that will notify the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver of an active work zone, traffic congestion, or an incident ahead. The alert system must be able to be broadcasted through the CMV’s transponders, electronic onboard systems, cell phones, and/or motor carrier routing and dispatching systems.


Two States are currently utilizing ITD (formerly Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks, or CVISN) grant funds to deploy work zone alert systems, as described below. FMCSA will continue to make ITD funds available to States seeking to deploy work zone and incident electronic notification systems.


Alabama is designing a basic system for establishing work-zone-related geofences and triggering an alert when a smartphone user enters a geofenced area. The system will provide: 1) rolling safety reminders (tailored to specific types of on-road actions) that can enhance safe driving behaviors, and 2) a notification of the estimated distance to the work zone. The system will also collect anonymous data related to the types of behaviors observed after various warnings and reminders are issued.


Arizona is developing and demonstrating a work zone warning and alert system using connected vehicle technologies (5.9 GHz Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC) to provide in-vehicle information for commercial vehicle operators. The State is also proposing to demonstrate the use of connected vehicle systems, including variable speed limits, queue warning, lane closure warning, and vehicle-to-vehicle messages to augment the operation of core ITD capabilities. 
To learn more about the ITD Grant Program, please visit: