Roadside traffic safety is an all-important topic, especially during vacation season and any time road travel increases. Being as careful and alert as we can to minimize danger for road workers, drivers, and pedestrians will help save lives at the end of the day. Yet another part of the equation is the importance of traffic flaggers and their role in maintaining road work and traffic safety.
What Is a Flagger?
A flagger is an individual with high visibility gear who directs traffic, especially when road work or much foot traffic is present. They protect all persons on the scene from coming to harm from a traffic accident. They may use standard hand signals or road work signs to indicate what a motorist should do and where they should go. Road work companies should always use certified flaggers who have the training to know these signals and how to deal with uncertain circumstances.
Why Traffic Flaggers?
Traffic flaggers can do what signs, even variable ones, cannot. Traffic flaggers are able to perceive ever-changing traffic situations, such as rogue drivers, increased traffic, or changing traffic directions. Signs and traffic cones are not always enough to direct traffic in real time. They may be the first warning of an upcoming road work zone, a traffic signal to slow or stop, or a signal to turn a certain direction.
Traffic Flagging Dangers
Flagging is by no means an easy job, even though a flagger’s only tools are his high visibility gear and flagger certification. Standing on the roadside amid many moving vehicles and sometimes people is risky business; there is always a risk that an accidental collision of some kind could happen. Flaggers must be on the alert for drunk or distracted drivers who will not follow their traffic directions. Sadly, distracted driving continues to be one of the top reasons for traffic accidents today on the road and around road work zones.
Traffic Flaggers and Motorists
Traffic flaggers are responsible for keeping their wits about them and using their training to communicate traffic signals clearly, helping maintain smooth and safe traffic between vehicles, work zones, and pedestrians. Motorists can help by staying alert and minding the flagger as well.
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