W. Young

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Marine traffic in the United States has been selectively regulated since the late 1800s to control the use of busy federal anchorages and to improve vessel movements in certain narrow waterways. The application of modern technology to marine traffic regulation began with lighted traffic signals in the 1930s and expanded in the United States and worldwide after World War II to include harbor advisory radar services with voice radio communications. The establishment of vessel traffic services (VI’S) was stimulated by the need to reduce marine accidents, and was enabled by the advent of navigation radar and voice radio communications. Operation of VTS systems by the U.S. Coast Guard has had a checkered history of progress and retreat. The Coast Guard’s VTS program, which had been substantially reduced before the Exxon Valdez shipping disaster, is being rebuilt as a national response to public concern over maritime safety. This paper provides an interpretive history of marine traffic regulation, and offers insights on issues from the past that influence current VT’S system planning and installation.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 42, Number 1
Pages: 259 - 312
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