Evaluation of the Paddle Pal, a Device for Increasing the Visibility of Flagger PaddlesAuthor/Presenter: Horowitz, Alan J.; Notbohm, Thomas
The Paddle Pal is a product of Safe-T-Proof. The product consists of a black plastic case and four arrays of three flashing LED’s, two red arrays on one side and two amber arrays on the other side. The Paddle Pal is intended as a way of increasing the visibility of a flagger paddle. The weather conditions were among the severest possible for testing the paddles. Without any direct light and the fog, the standard paddle and the flaggers were very difficult to see. It is likely that an even denser fog would necessitate a suspension of flagger operations at an actual work zone, as the use of any paddle (illuminated or otherwise) would be unduly hazardous. It is recommended that flaggers should use lighted paddles if low-visibility, daytime conditions are anticipated. The Paddle Pal is recommended over a standard paddle. The MUTCD should be modified to allow paddles lighted with LEDs, as these paddles perform better than standard paddles and at least one white-light paddle in low visibility, daytime conditions.