DAR File No. 39433

This rule was published in the July 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 13) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Transportation, Operations, Traffic and Safety

Rule R920-8

Flashing Light Usage on Highway Construction or Maintenance Vehicles

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 39433
Filed: 06/09/2015 04:39:57 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Subsection 41-6a-1617(1) requires that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) shall make rules providing specifications governing the design and use of special flashing lights on vehicles engaged in highway construction or maintenance operations. This rule satisfies that statutory requirement.

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule requires vehicles and equipment engaged in highway construction or maintenance operations to be equipped with proper flashing lighting systems to make them more visible to the traveling public and to persons working on such projects. This rule also includes specifications governing the design and use of the flashing light systems.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 41-6a-1617(1)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

UDOT will not suffer additional costs since it currently installs flashing lighting systems on the majority of its vehicles and equipment including all vehicles and equipment used on highway construction or maintenance operations.

local governments:

There may be a slight increase for local governments as they typically have a select few pieces of equipment on which they currently install flashing lighting systems. While this rule allows the local jurisdiction the ability to determine the appropriate use of flashing lights on non-state roadways, it may require them to install these systems on vehicles when working on a state roadway, but the ability to be seen better and avoid an accident could easily offset the cost of installing a flashing lighting system.

small businesses:

There may be a slight increase in costs suffered by small businesses as they too typically have a select few pieces of equipment that they currently install flashing lighting systems on. This rule may require them to install these systems on additional vehicles, however the ability to be seen better and avoid an accident could easily offset the cost of installing a flashing lighting system.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

The general public may experience a savings as they are better able to see vehicles and equipment working near their methods of transportation and reduce the potential for harm or accident. The benefits this rule should provide everyone who travels on state highways on which construction or repairs are being done will likely outweigh any additional costs the rule may cause.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

UDOT's research shows prices starting at $75 for a single SAE Class I beacon (Section R920-8-6 minimum requirement) that has 360-degree visibility. Advanced lighting kits that offer multiple lights for various locations on a vehicle can exceed $3,000. Costs for affected persons will vary base upon the number and types of equipment they use in their work.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

As the Flashing Light Committee created and modified this new rule, the Committee enlisted the help of the UDOT Equipment Manager, Construction and Maintenance personnel, the AGC Highway Safety Committee (comprising several large construction company's safety managers), the AGC Heavy Highway Committee (comprising several large construction companies upper managers) and the Joint Highway Committee. The final text of this rule was voted upon and accepted by the members of these various committees. While there may be an increase of cost to some of the construction companies engaged in work on the state's highways due to this new rule, the general consensus was that there could be a cost benefit by being more visible to those approaching or being around these vehicles and equipment engaged in such work.

Carlos Braceras, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Transportation
Operations, Traffic and Safety
CALVIN L RAMPTON COMPLEX
4501 S 2700 W
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84119-5998

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • James Palmer at the above address, by phone at 801-965-4000, by FAX at 801-965-4338, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

07/31/2015

This rule may become effective on:

08/07/2015

Authorized by:

Carlos Braceras, Executive Director

RULE TEXT

R920. Transportation, Operations, Traffic and Safety.

R920-8. Flashing Light Usage on Highway Construction or Maintenance Vehicles.

R920-8-1. Purpose.

This rule provides specifications governing the design and use of special flashing lights on vehicles engaged in highway construction and maintenance operations.

 

R920-8-2. Authority.

This rule is required and authorized by Section 41-6a-1617.

 

R920-8-3. Definitions.

In addition to the terms defined in Section 41-6a-102, the following terms are defined:

(1) "Engaged" means performing tasks for roadway surface and shoulder maintenance or construction purposes.

(2) "Flashing Amber Lighting System" means one or more amber flashing light(s).

(3) "Flashing lights" means bursts of light which are distinguishable and capture attention.

(4) "Headlight, taillight, or brake light flashers" (also known as "wigwags") means a device used to alter or modify the original vehicle manufacturer's electronically controlled lighting system.

(5) "Highway construction and maintenance vehicles" means both on-road and off-road vehicles or equipment.

(6) "360-degree visibility" means the ability to be seen from all angles.

 

R920-8-4. Requirements for All Vehicles Engaged in Highway Construction or Maintenance Operations on State Highways.

(1)(a) Except as provided under Subsection (1)(b), beginning July 1, 2015, vehicles engaged in highway construction or maintenance operations on state highways that are not protected by traffic control devices compliant to the current Utah Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, must have a flashing amber lighting system with 360-degree visibility.

(b) When the flashing amber lighting system does not provide 360-degree visibility, vehicle hazard lights shall be used in addition to the flashing amber lighting system.

(2) Flashing amber lighting systems may be supplemented with flashing white lights on the front and flashing red lights on the rear that do not alter or modify the original manufacturer's electronically controlled lighting system.

 

R920-8-5. Requirements for All Vehicles Engaged in Highway Construction or Maintenance Operations on Non-State Highways.

(1) Local jurisdictions will determine the appropriate use of flashing lights on construction or maintenance vehicles engaged in construction or maintenance operations on non-state roadways.

 

R920-8-6. Visibility.

(1) Flashing amber lighting systems shall meet or exceed the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Class I certification.

(2) Flashing lights shall be positioned on the vehicle so as to not interfere with the ability to see standard vehicle lighting.

(a) Operation of flashing lights must be used in conjunction with standard vehicle lighting.

 

R920-8-7. Specific Limitations.

For vehicles engaged in highway construction or maintenance operations, not including the Utah Department of Transportation's Incident Management Team units:

(1) no red light may be visible from the front of a vehicle;

(2) no flashing white light may be visible from the rear of a vehicle;

(3) blue lights are prohibited; and

(4) headlight, taillight, and brake light flashers (wigwags) are prohibited.

 

R920-8-8. Exceptions.

(1) When multiple vehicles are engaged in highway construction and maintenance operations, and are concentrated within a small area in a work zone, it is acceptable for those vehicles within the perimeter of vehicles to reduce the intensity or turn off the flashing amber lighting systems and/or supplemental flashing lighting systems to minimize the distractions to motorists and other workers in the work zone.

(2) Delivery vehicles are not required to have a flashing amber lighting system, but must use vehicle hazard lights when entering or exiting a work zone.

 

R920-8-9. Recommended Placement Practice.

Flashing amber lighting systems should be placed as high on the vehicle as reasonably capable of being placed.

 

KEY: flashing lights, highways, construction, maintenance

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2015

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 41-6a-1617

 


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2015/b20150701.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact James Palmer at the above address, by phone at 801-965-4000, by FAX at 801-965-4338, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.