Lighted Paddle Makes Flaggers More VisibleAbstract:
Highway maintenance work zones often rely on a flagger to alert motorists that the traffic patterns or speeds change ahead and that they need to be prepared to stop or slow down. But drivers sometimes fail to notice the flagger, especially in rainy or foggy conditions. When this happens, the work crew faces a serious hazard from the careless motorist, and the flagger is the crew member in the greatest danger. The Ohio Department of Transportation (DOT) wanted to find a way to even the odds for flaggers and the other members of work crews by giving its flaggers a new way to get drivers’ attention and hasten braking action.
The DOT turned to the flashing stop/slow paddle, a device developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). The device is much like the stop/slow paddles flaggers have long used at work zones, but with the addition of a high-intensity flashing light on the “stop” side of the paddle. If a driver appears to be unaware of the flagger, the flagger can activate the flashing light to attract the driver’s attention.