Bills in multiple states cover use of rumble strips

March 3, 2023

Keith Goble


The topic of road safety is a leading transportation issue at statehouses around the country. The use of rumble strips is among the pursuits to improve road safety.

The Federal Highway Administration has provided figures that show centerline rumble strips reduce fatal and injury crashes by 38% to 50 % on rural two-lane roads, and by 37% to 91% on urban two-lane roads.


One Iowa House bill covers the construction and maintenance of rumble strips on certain highways.

Rumble strips in the state are defined as a series of rough-textured, slightly raised or depressed grooves along the surface of a roadway used to alert vehicle operators about upcoming road conditions.

The bill, HF66, would require any governmental entity with jurisdiction over a highway to construct and maintain the warning strips.

Rumble strips would be required in advance of all stop signs and traffic-control signals on a highway where the highway enters or crosses a primary highway.

Certain exceptions would apply. The bill specifies rumble strips would not be required inside the limits of any incorporated city, within 200 yards of a residence, or on a segment of highway with a speed limit below 55 mph.

There are 537 locations that would require the construction of rumble strips under the bill, reports the Iowa Legislative Services Agency. The cost to the state to add the rumble strips is estimated at $260,000 annually over the next five fiscal years.

HF66 is in the House Transportation Committee.


A Texas bill calls for a study regarding the placement of rumble strips on highway shoulders.

HB806 would make the Texas Department of Transportation responsible for conducting a study to identify and assess the “optimal placement” of the warning strips along highway shoulders.

Attention would be given to permit use of roadway shoulders by farm equipment in a way that does not impede the movement of traffic, and maintains the functionality of the rumble strip as a safety feature for vehicle operators.

Results of the study would be due to the Legislature by December 2025.

The bill is in the House Transportation Committee.


An effort underway in Connecticut would tap rumble strips to help reduce wrong-way driving.

In 2022, state figures show there were 13 wrong-way crashes in the state. There were 12 such crashes combined from 2019 to 2021.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation reports they have acted in recent years to reduce the likelihood of wrong-way driver crashes. The agency previously announced plans to launch a wrong-way detection pilot program this year at 16 high-risk ramp locations.

Additionally, $20 million in additional state funding allows CTDOT to deploy more wrong-way countermeasures. The agency is also outfitting multiple ramp locations with wrong-way detection technology.

State lawmakers have also been busy offering possible solutions to the growing problem.

One effort to help address the issue would tap rumble warning strips in certain locations. Specifically, HB5969 calls for rumble strips to be installed at entrance and exit ramps.

The bill remains in the Joint Committee on Transportation as a deadline to advance quickly approaches. LL

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