Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Intrusion Devices -- New and Emerging Technology in Worker Safety


Kenneth J. Kochevar, P.E.

Federal Highway Administration

California Division Office

980 9th Street, Suite 400

Sacramento, CA 95814-2724

Tel: (916) 498-5853

Fax: (916) 498-5008


Injuries and fatalities have increased dramatically over the past four years in work zones. In 1998 there were 772 fatalities recorded in work zones compared to 1,026 in 2001 with a high of 1,093 in 2000. Injuries increased also from 39,000 in 1998 to approximately 53,000 in 2001.

A number of factors have contributed to these increases. An increase in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) of 3+% a year, lack of consistency from one work zone to the next, an increase in the 'Distracted Driver,' and an increase in night time work. As an example, California does approximately 60% of its construction during the nighttime.

One way to combat the increase in fatalities and injuries is through the use of ITS technology more specifically intrusion devices. Although the primary purpose is to alert the worker on foot of a vehicle that has penetrated the work zone it is also true that at least one of the intrusion devices will give the driver an indication that they are in a restricted area and need to perform some defensive action.

This presentation describes what and how severe the problem is in work zones and then describes in detail the three different intrusion devices. Among other specifics, the presentation will cover the reasons, benefits and applicable uses for using these three intrusion devices. Each of the intrusion devices described has a place in the work zone under various conditions. After this presentation it is up to the practitioners to follow through with experimentation of the different intrusion devices until they become operational.

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