Understanding the New Inclusion of RRFB Guidelines in the MUTCD’s 11th Edition

The 11th Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), published on December 19, 2023, marks a significant milestone in traffic control and pedestrian safety with the inclusion of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs). This groundbreaking update underscores the commitment to enhancing pedestrian safety across uncontrolled crosswalks. 

RRFBs, known for their distinct flashing pattern, have proven effective in increasing driver awareness and yielding behavior, thereby reducing pedestrian-related crashes at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. Their formal recognition in the MUTCD paves the way for broader adoption and represents a major leap forward in improving safety and accessibility for pedestrians. 

RRFBs were first introduced as an experimental device in the MUTCD in 2008 and, with the exception of a few months in early 2018 where this status was rescinded due to a patent issue, have remained under an interim approval. With the long-awaited release of the 11th Edition of the MUTCD, the RRFB is now a formal device.

Discover below a brief overview of RRFBs as well as how these beacons have been integrated into the MUTCD’s 11th Edition traffic control guidelines, their design innovations, and operational standards, all of which contribute to a safer and more pedestrian-aware roadway environment.

The Essentials of RRFBs

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) have been proven to be an extremely effective device for improving safety of pedestrians and cyclists at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. Here is an overview of their design, function, and impact on safety:

Design and Concept

  • RRFBs consist of two yellow, rectangular-shaped LED indicators that flash rapidly when activated.
  • They are typically post mounted and positioned on both the left-hand and right-hand side of the crosswalk. For typical two-way roadway applications, the RRFB lightbars are usually mounted back-to-back on each pole.
  • Suitable for various settings such as crosswalks at uncontrolled intersections, mid-block crosswalks, trail crossings, crosswalks with median islands, and crosswalks at roundabouts.


  • Activated by pedestrians or cyclists at uncontrolled marked crosswalks.
  • Emit intense, rapid flashes, ensuring visibility under various lighting conditions, including bright daylight.


  • The vast majority of RRFBs are solar powered, which enables a cost effective installation as connections to the power grid for each pole are avoided.
  • RRFB devices are wirelessly connected to one another, so that when any push button at the crosswalk is pressed all RRFBs will start flashing immediately and stop flashing at the same time.

Safety Impact

  • Enhances driver awareness – The distinct flashing pattern stands out, alerting drivers to the presence of crossing pedestrians or cyclists.
  • Increases driver compliance – Research indicates RRFBs can increase motorist yielding rates by up to 98%.
  • Reduced Crash Rates – Extensive research has proven that RRFBs can reduce pedestrian crashes up to 47%.
  • Protects vulnerable road users – Especially effective for ensuring the safety of young, elderly, or disabled pedestrians and cyclists.

MUTCD 11: Chapter 4L Overview

The inclusion of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) 11th Edition, specifically in Chapter 4L, marks a significant advancement in road safety regulations. 

Firstly, this inclusion sets a national standard, ensuring uniformity and consistency in the implementation of RRFBs across the United States. Secondly, by formally integrating RRFBs into the MUTCD, it elevates these devices from the interim, experimental status to a recognized tool. This move not only standardizes their use but also encourages wider adoption and adherence to best practices in protecting vulnerable road users.

This chapter of the MUTCD provides comprehensive standards and guidelines for the installation, design, and operation of RRFBs. Here is a summary of its key points:

Application of RRFBs (Section 4L.01)

  • RRFBs are specifically for pedestrian-activated and/or bicyclist-activated use at marked crosswalks on uncontrolled approaches.
  • RRFBs can be used at crosswalks at roundabouts, and at intersections with two crosswalks on an uncontrolled approach.

Installation Standards

  • RRFBs are required to function as a supplement to the following specific signs: W11-2 (Pedestrian), S1-1 (School), or W11-15 (Trail) crossing warning signs.
  • RRFBs can be used on an approach in advance to the crosswalk, providing it is supplemental to, and not a replacement for, the RRFBs at the crosswalk itself. 

Design Specifications (Section 4L.02)

  • Each RRFB unit shall comprise of two rapidly-flashed, rectangular-shaped yellow indications that flash to the specific flash pattern detailed in this section.
  • The indications must be at least 5 inches wide and 2 inches high, aligned horizontally with a minimum space of 7 inches between them.
  • The placement of RRFB units should be in direct conjunction with the associated crossing warning signs, either on the same support or directly above/below the sign for post-mounted or overhead-mounted signs, respectively.

Operational Standards (Section 4L.03)

  • RRFBs must remain normally dark and only activate upon pedestrian actuation, ceasing operation after a predetermined time.
  • All associated RRFB units for a given crosswalk must commence and cease their rapid flashing simultaneously.
  • The flash rate and sequence are specifically defined to maximize visibility while avoiding frequencies that might induce seizures.

Additional Considerations

  • The light intensity of the RRFBs during daytime must meet or exceed the minimum specifications for SAE J595 Class 1 yellow peak luminous intensity.
  • To avoid excessive glare during nighttime automatic dimming  may be utilized.

Guidance for Enhanced Accessibility

  • The use of audible information devices with RRFBs is recommended to assist pedestrians with vision disabilities.
  • Small lights directed at pedestrians in the crosswalk may be integrated into the RRFB or pedestrian push button detector for operational confirmation.

This overview of MUTCD 11: Chapter 4L highlights the guidelines and standards set specifically for the implementation of RRFBs. These specifications ensure that RRFBs are used effectively and consistently across various locations, thereby enhancing the safety and visibility of pedestrian and cyclist crossings.

Why Choose Availed Technologies’ AV-400 RRFB?

Availed Technologies’ AV-400 Series RRFB meets and exceeds MUTCD standards and provides industry-leading installation simplicity. The AV-400 is purpose-built exclusively for the RRFB application, and provides numerous features to simplify the installation and reduce installation time and cost. Additionally, the AV-400’s capacity for over 300 daily activations surpasses the typical usage requirements of even busy crosswalks.

The ultra-efficient design of the AV-400 accomplishes this high operating capacity with a compact, lightweight solar engine that is very easy to handle and is small enough to be suitable for installation on standard sign posts.  The AV-400 solar engine and lightbars come with universal mounting brackets that readily mount to all pole types.

Availed Technologies’ AV-400 Series RRFBs are designed for efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Solar Engine and Battery – 20W high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel with 45° tilt and 360° rotation, 12V 14-18 Ah AGM sealed lead acid battery.
  • Performance – Exceeds MUTCD light output requirements by up to five times, rated for over 300 activations per day.
  • Wireless Network – 2.4 GHz wireless mesh, 10 channels, 1000′ range, synchronized activation under 150ms.
  • Environmental Tolerance – Operates in -40 to 165° F, battery works in -40 to 140° F, compliant with NEMA TS 2 standards.
  • Installation – Quick and simple, with a pre-wired post-top solar engine assembly and a factory-installed universal mounting bracket.

If you are looking for more information on the use and installation of the AV-400 RRFB please visit our FAQ page.

Your MUTCD-Compliant RRFB Solution

The inclusion of RRFBs in the MUTCD’s Chapter 4L is a pivotal moment for road safety, acknowledging their importance in traffic management. This standardization is a major step in unifying safety practices nationwide.

By partnering with Availed Technologies, you’ll benefit from the AV-400 RRFB, an industry-leading product that adheres to MUTCD standards. Start your journey towards safer crosswalks by reaching out to us, and let us collaboratively enhance road safety.

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Texas Highway Products: Availed Technologies’ Trusted Distributor Partner

We sat down to talk to Texas Highway Products (THP), a trusted distributor partner of Availed Technologies, about the rapidly growing RRFB industry.

For 25 years, THP has provided traffic control products to municipal, county, and state agencies throughout Texas. As a long-time supporter and exhibitor at TexITE and IMSA Southwestern Section events, THP has the knowledge and expertise to support traffic departments throughout Texas.

In this Q&A, we’ll delve into THP’s insights on the recent advancements in RRFB technology, and their experiences with the AV-400 RRFB.

Q: Can you tell us about Texas Highway Products and how it has established itself as a trusted partner in the traffic control industry?

A: Texas Highway Products (THP) has been serving the municipal, county, and state traffic agencies throughout Texas for the past 25 years. We have earned our reputation as a top distributor by providing a high level of customer service and field support, and through our long-time support and participation in TexITE and IMSA Southwestern Section events.

THP has the knowledge and expertise to support traffic departments in Texas, whether it’s a small town or the TXDOT.

Q: Can you tell us about the products that Texas Highway Products represents?

A: In addition to Availed Technologies, Texas Highway Products represents other quality traffic products such as Q-Free, Clary, Encom, EDI, and Pelco. Availed’s products are available through Texas Highway Products and the Local Government Purchasing Cooperative Texas BuyBoard.

Q: How has the RRFB industry changed in recent years?

A: The RRFB industry has seen a rise in the use of standardized signposts for RRFBs, which has dramatically reduced the installation cost, time, and complexity. This has been made possible by improvements in power efficiency, allowing leading products like the AV-400 to be small and compact enough to mount on signposts.

Q: Where do you see the industry going in the coming years?

A: The RRFBs are still under interim approval with the Federal Highway Administration and will be included in the next edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) by May 15, 2023.

We expect the usage of RRFBs to increase even more once they are included in the revised MUTCD. You can find more information on it on the MUTCD site.

Q: What changes are you seeing in the use of RRFBs?

A: The use of RRFBs is on the rise, as cities throughout Texas are making improvements to be increasingly more pedestrian-friendly. For example, Fort Worth recently ordered the Availed RRFB and the city is taking great pride in the steps being taken to give their residents safer transportation options.

The City of Cedar Hill is another example of an agency that has been using RRFBs for improving pedestrian crosswalks. Cedar Hill plans to become one of the most walkable cities in Texas, and RRFBs will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on its roads. There are many other municipalities in both the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio areas that are utilizing Availed RRFBs as part of their pedestrian improvements.

In summary, Texas Highway Products is a valued and knowledgeable distributor partner for Availed Technologies. With a focus on customer service and field support, THP services are an indispensable asset for traffic agencies in Texas.

With the increasing prevalence of RRFBs in the industry, and the backing of Availed’s tools and experts, THP is well-equipped to meet the growing demand for pedestrian safety solutions.


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What to Know About the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) Program

Rendering courtesy of Alta Planning + Design

Today’s blog is your comprehensive rundown of what to know about the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) Program.

Without further ado, let’s jump into what the STEP Program is, why it is so important to pedestrian safety, and the important role RRFBs play in the implementation of the program:

What is the STEP Program?

The STEP Program was created by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to outline a series of recommendations that aim to significantly reduce pedestrian fatalities. It is a safety initiative that compiles multiple different pedestrian countermeasures that have proven safety benefits.

A key focus of the STEP Program is to improve pedestrian safety at uncontrolled marked crosswalks.

How the STEP Program Improves Pedestrian Safety

While the program’s goal is to address national safety problems and, in turn, improve the safety of individuals of all ages, stats prove just how crucial its implementation is.

For example, the National Highway Traffic Administration reports, “2016 witnessed the most pedestrian fatalities since 1990, accounting for approximately 16% of all roadway fatalities. Cost-effective countermeasures can be systemically applied to reduce these crashes and save lives.”

More specifically, these referenced countermeasures include:

  • Leading pedestrian intervals (LPIs) at signalized intersections, which flag to pedestrians to walk before vehicles get a green left or right signal
  • Raised crosswalks, which act as a traffic-calming measure that reduces vehicle speeds
  • Pedestrian crossing/refuge islands, which permit pedestrians a safer place to pause at the midpoint of a roadway before crossing the remaining distance
  • Pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs), which provide stop control for high-speed, multi-lane roadways
  • Road diets, which work to reduce the number of lanes pedestrians cross and overall vehicle speeds
  • Crosswalk visibility enhancements like crosswalk lighting and signage to help nighttime drivers and pedestrians navigate
  • Rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs): arguably the most vital implementation in the STEP Program

Here’s why RRFBs are considered so important to pedestrian safety:

RRFBs and Pedestrian Safety

Across North America, RRFBs have been assessed in areas like Arlington as a crucial part of the STEP Program.

Why? Because RRFBs are pedestrian-activated amber LED lights that significantly increase driver yielding behaviour.

RRFB implementation has also proven to:

  • Reduce pedestrian crashes
  • Decrease the average driver’s speed

As such, the STEP Program now prioritizes RRFBs in locations where warranted. This is determined by road configuration, daily vehicle volume (AADT), and posted speed limit. See page 23 of the FHWA Guide.

Learn More About RRFB Effectiveness Today

Here at Availed Technologies, we proudly offer products like the AV-400 RRFB that have helped the STEP Program reach their safety goals: our mission is extremely focused on producing the best products possible that are simple to install and provide exceptional reliability and performance.

To learn more about our best-in-class RRFBs, LED Enhanced Signs, and flashing beacons (or more about safety takeaways from the STEP Program), contact our team today.