Development of a Moving Automatic Flagger Assistance Device (AFAD) for Moving Work Zone OperationsAuthor/Presenter: Terhaar, Edward F.
Flagging operations are a critical part of construction and maintenance activities on our highways. Flagging personnel are trained to effectively and safely communicate the location of construction or maintenance activities to the traveling public. Due to the nature of the work, flagging personnel are located on the roadway near the work zone, which can result in dangerous vehicle and flagger interactions. With the increasing levels of distracted drivers, safety of flaggers and workers in work zones is an increasing concern. Unfortunately, flagging personnel deaths and near misses continue to occur on our highways during each construction season. Flagging operations can occur during both stationary and moving operations on two-lane, high-speed roadways. Stationary operations occur at a single location for a specific amount of time. The use and benefits of AFADs at stationary locations is documented in the report Implementation of Automatic Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) for Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Flagger Operations. Moving operations involve work zones that are continuously moving, such as pavement crack sealing operations. The use of traditional AFADs in a moving operation is difficult due to the towing requirements of the devices. In order to capture the benefits of AFADs in a moving work zone, the stationary AFAD needed to be modified to allow for self-propelled motion to follow the moving operation.