Whoa Nellie…Look Out!

If you’re the “flagger,” where do you stand? In the middle of the road, straddling the white dividing line? Behind a barrier? Or out of the traffic lane? Which one did you pick? If you picked “out of the traffic lane” you win the prize. If you picked one of the other possible answers, you’re dead wrong. Get the implication? Be careful, be careful, be careful. 

What is proper dress for a flagger?: 

• Hard Hat Sign Paddle (or flag for “emergencies”) 

• Reflectorized Orange Vest Steel Toe Safety Shoes 

• Fully Clothed (Removal of shirts is prohibited)

• Crew Members Also Wear Reflectorized Orange Vests 

What about proper flagging devices? 

SIGN PADDLE–The sign paddle shall be at least 18 inches wide, with large, reflectorized lettering. Bottom of sign (paddle) must be a minimum of 5 feet above the ground/roadway. 

FLAG–The flag shall be red, not less than 24 inches x 24 inches, on a staff at least 36 inches long. The flag must be weighted at the bottom, with a 3/16 inch rod (or something of adequate weight). 

Advance warning signs and traffic control paddles shall be turned in for repair or replacement when the colors become dull or worn. 

“Home made” or improperly repaired signs are often confusing and lead to disrespect for traffic control efforts. 

How to Stop Traffic? Here are some specific steps: 

• Stand facing traffic, but keep out of traffic lanes. 

• When using a two-sided paddle (it reads SLOW on one side, and STOP on the other), hold the paddle in a stationary position with the arm extended horizontally away from the body. The free arm shall be raised with the palm toward approaching traffic. 

• When using a red flag (emergency purposes only), hold the flagstaff in a horizontal position in the path of the vehicle. The free arm shall be raised with the palm of the hand toward approaching traffic. 

• If time permits, drivers may be informed concerning the reason for delay. Be courteous, be brief. 

• Raise and expose the palm of your free hand toward approaching traffic to indicate that the vehicle is required to stop. Before leaving the shoulder of the road, always check over your shoulder to make sure no traffic is approaching from the other direction. 

• After the first vehicle has totally stopped, move toward the middle of the road, staying clear of the center line, so the STOP side of the paddle can be seen by approaching motorists. 

• While maintaining eye contact with the first driver, and while moving from the shoulder of the road, carry an orange cone in your left hand and place it down in the center of the lane, directly in front of the stopped first vehicle. 

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR JOB. Remember, your job is handling traffic. Do not otherwise assist the work crew, watch construction operations instead of traffic, or engage in any other activity in addition to your duties as a flagger.