What Effect Does a Dynamic Truck Overtaking Prohibition Have on Travel Behaviour?
Onno Tool, AVV, Ministry of Transport, NL; Marie-José Olde Kalter, Paul van Beek, Feike Brandt, Goudappel Coffeng BV, NL
The paper shows the results of a study on the effects of an introduction of a truck overtaking prohibition on highways in the Netherlands. Several data sources were used for the evaluation: interviews, video data, system loggings and traffic data.
The Dutch Ministry of Transport Public Works and Water Management has a lot of experience with different measures for improving the use of the major roads in the Netherlands. One of the more successful measures is an overtaking prohibition for trucks on highways. The static variant, with an overtaking prohibition during rush hours, is introduced on heavily used highways in the Netherlands at the end of the nineties. However, this measure also functions in situations when traffic flows are low and there would be no traffic or safety problems for trucks to overtake other vehicles. A dynamic overtaking prohibition, which only functions when total traffic flows and truck flows are high, could overcome this problem.
On January 2005 two experiments of a dynamic variant of a truck overtaking prohibition were installed at the Dutch A2 motorway. The ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management promised the Second Chamber to conduct an evaluation studying of these experiments in 2005. The Transport and Research Centre of the Ministry has commissioned Goudappel Coffeng to conduct this study. The goal of this study was:
To gather information about the effects of the dynamic version of the overtaking prohibition for trucks for highways with two and three lanes, in order to develop the overtaking prohibition policy of the Ministry of Transport.
In the first experiment, on the A2 motorway in Limburg, a dynamic truck overtaking prohibition was introduced on a two lane highway, with a total length of 77 kilometres divided into four parts. The system switches on when total traffic volumes are over 2.600 vehicles per hour and truck volumes are over 250 vehicles per hour. It switches off when traffic volumes drop below 2.300 (total) and 230 vehicles (trucks). On average the system switches only 3-4 times per working-day.
In the second experiment, on the A2 motorway in Utrecht, a dynamic truck overtaking prohibition was introduced on a three lane highway, with a total length of 14 kilometres on one part only. The system is switched on when total traffic volumes are over 4.500 vehicles per hour and truck volumes are over 150 vehicles per hour. It switches off when traffic volumes drop below 4.200 (total) and 130 vehicles (trucks). On average the system is active only 3 times per working-day.
In both experiments a dynamic truck overtaking prohibition was introduced. However the experiments differed on the following:
- The experiment on the A2 Limburg is a change from a static two-lane truck overtaking prohibition (only working on rush hours on work-days) to a dynamic version;
- The experiment on the A2 Utrecht is an introduction of a dynamic truck overtaking prohibition on a three lane highway with no overtaking prohibition measures before.
In this evaluation the before situation is compared with the after situation. The following topics were considered:
- part of the day the system is switched on;
- safety and comprehensiveness;
- traffic flows.
The study used a number of different data sources. First truck drivers and drivers of personal vehicles were interviewed. On both locations 800 drivers were interviewed (n=1,600). Second video data on overtaking behaviour was used for more then 600 hours per period per location. Third system loggings and traffic data were analyzed for several months before and after the experiments. The paper will describe the research method and results.
Association for European Transport