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Traffic Control is essential for road safety

Traffic control is essential to keeping workers safe on road construction projects.

Developing an effective traffic control system in temporary traffic control (TTC) zones involves the use of flagmen, static signs, flashing signs, and cones or barrels.

TTC zones are typically divided into four areas:

  1. The advance warning area, which is where signs and flashing signs notify motorists of impending traffic route changes
  2. The transition area, which involves the use of cones or barrels to gradually redirect vehicles away from a construction area by channeling the vehicles to a new path
  3. The activity area, which is the highway section where construction is occurring
  4. The termination area, which redirects vehicles to the original traffic flow.

Defined mathematical formulas determine the taper length by calculating vehicle speeds, the width of the offset in feet, and the posted speed limit or the off-peak speed before starting work.

Arrow panels are used for only stationary or moving lane closures on multi-lane highways.  Portable, changeable message signs in TTC zones are used to advise drivers of unexpected situations. They can be used to indicate roadway, lane or ramp closures, for crash or emergency incident management, width restriction information, speed control or reductions, and advisories on work scheduling.

Flaggers are used at the beginning point of a traffic control setup and the cone setup to help enforce the channel taper. Flaggers should wear high-visibility apparel that is either fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent yellow-green, or a combination of these colors.

Because flaggers are responsible for public safety and make the greatest number of contacts with the public of all highway workers, they should be trained in safe traffic control practices and public contact techniques.

Flaggers should demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Receive and communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly and courteously
  • Move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles
  • Control signaling devices (such as paddles and flags) in order to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers approaching a TTC zone in frequently changing situations
  • Understand and apply safe traffic control practices, sometimes in stressful or emergency situations
  • Recognize dangerous traffic situations and warn workers in sufficient time to avoid injury

Neff Rental delivers message boards and arrow boards to road construction job sites, which can help improve traffic safety. Call Neff Rental at 888-709-NEFF, or visit to make your reservation today.

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