New Warning Device Makes Work Zones SaferAbstract:
Highway maintenance work puts crews in risky situations. The crew is usually only meters away from passing cars and trucks, and there’s little or no protection between the crew and the traffic. Motorists who suddenly come upon a work zone sometimes fail to notice the flagger warning them to stop or slow down. To improve safety in work zones on the State’s roads, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) decided to try a new traffic control device-the flashing stop/slow paddle.
Developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), the flashing stop/slow paddle is similar to ones commonly used by flaggers, but contains high-intensity lights on the “stop” side of the paddle. The lights, activated by the push of a button, give the flagger another way to get the attention of motorists nearing the work zone.