Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB)

A rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) is a form of traffic control that uses flashing yellow lights at a crosswalk to warn motorists of pedestrians or bicyclists waiting to cross or already crossing the street. A pedestrian pushes the button and the warning lights are activated, notifying motorists of activity in the crosswalk. The pedestrian proceeds carefully into the crosswalk as vehicles yield to the crossing pedestrian or bicyclist.

Nebraska state law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. The flashing lights of an RRFB help to increase a motorist’s awareness of a pedestrian crossing.

Safety is the #1 priority Federal Highway Administration research indicates RRFBs increase driver yielding by up to 88%

RRFBs have been proven to improve the safety of pedestrian and bicyclist crossing locations by greatly increasing vehicle yield rates at uncontrolled crossings. Their ease of use and safety characteristics have resulted in widespread deployment by multiple agencies.

YouTube video PSA - Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (0:30)
Photos:
RRFBs use an irregular, strobe, flash pattern to warn approaching traffic to yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk RRFB at 33rd and Mopac Trail crossing These LED flashers can be pushbutton activated

How to Use an RRFB

Pedestrians & Bicyclists

  • Press the button on the RRFB to activate the flashing lights.
  • Look to see that motorists are yielding before proceeding into and through the crosswalk.
  • Cross the street, staying within the bounds of the crosswalk and looking both directions to ensure vehicles are yielding.
  • Bicyclists: When riding in the travel lane, ride in the direction of traffic, obey all traffic laws, and yield to pedestrians.

Motorists

Always stop for pedestrians and bicyclists entering or in a crosswalk.

Begin yielding when approaching an activated RRFB.

Do not pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down at a crosswalk.

Come to a complete stop at or before the triangular-shaped yield-line pavement markings, or stop before the crosswalk if no yield-line pavement markings exist.

Do not stop within or block a crosswalk.

Remain stopped for pedestrians or bicyclists that are within the crosswalk, regardless of whether the RRFB is activated.

Ensure crosswalk is clear before resuming travel.

How to Use an RRFB

The City of Lincoln has installed this type of crosswalk warning device at a handful of locations, including:

  • 13th Street at “D” and “F” streets
  • 33rd Street at MoPac Trail
  • Holdrege Street at Carlos Drive
  • 16th Street at “D” Street
  • Holdrege Street at Idylwild Drive
  • NW 48th Street at W Knight Drive
  • Sheridan Boulevard, between 33rd and 37th Streets
  • Coming soon – 17th Street at Washington Street
  • Coming soon – 84th Street, between Yankee Hill Road and Yankee Woods Drive
RRFB at 16th and “D” Streets RRFB at 16th and “D” Streets

Additional locations are currently under evaluation. As these active pedestrian and bicyclist safety devices continue to be evaluated, they could be considered for installation at:

  • New pedestrian and bicycle crossing locations
  • Existing marked and signed crosswalk locations where engineering study justifies them
  • As a replacement for existing, fully signalized crosswalk locations where signalization is no longer warranted

Related Links

Several studies and other research are available to support the use of the RRFBs, including informational links provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Videos YouTube videos

Use and Operation of RRFBs
Other Videos