Flashing Paddles Create Safer Highway Work ZonesAbstract:
Drivers often fail to notice instructions being given by flaggers at highway work sites, creating a tremendous hazard for maintenance workers and travelers. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) needed some way to help flaggers warn motorists to stop or slow down. The highway agency decided to evaluate the flashing stop/slow paddle and Pennsylvania DOT flaggers found several advantages in using the flashing stop/slow paddle. The highway agency decided to evaluate the flashing stop/slow paddle, a product developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). These paddles include a high-powered flashing light that flaggers can turn on to get drivers’ attention. Once alerted, a driver should be more aware of the flagger’s instructions and of the presence of a highway work crew, reducing the likelihood of an accident.