People working in road construction deserve to be protected. This is why there are practices in place governing areas with construction activity. As a driver, it is important that you obey all the road rules, observe the signage and follow the directions of the different flagmen. This allows you to share the roads with others safely.
Construction companies have a huge role to play when it comes to traffic control flags. They need to ensure that their employees know how to regulate traffic using these tools. Whether you are a flagman or a driver, understand that you contribute to road safety. The following sections detail how flags are used to control traffic:
In this case, the flagman stands directly ahead of the driver. The flag should be held on the left hand and waved up and down. To make sure that you are clear, start the movement from the leg and raise it to the height of your shoulders continuously. It helps if your other arm also moves in the same way. Here, the driver becomes aware to expect road activity. If you want the drivers to take a particular action, you can add traffic signs to STOP or GO and turn each to the side you are referring to. Always make sure that approaching drivers can see.
Flags to Stop Vehicles
In this case, the flagman needs to face oncoming traffic and hold the flag on their left hand. The movement of the flag is the same as you make to warn traffic. However, in this case, you stop when the vehicle is approximately 100 paces close. You hold the flag on an outstretched arm at shoulder height and use the palm of the other hand to indicate for them to stop. This procedure should only be used for shortstops.
Flags to Allow Vehicles to Continue Moving
If after a temporary stop you want for traffic to keep moving, there is also a provision for that. The right side of the body needs to face oncoming traffic and then with that hand, you make horizontal movements. Drivers see this, and they proceed. Always make sure that vehicles on the other side have seen the flagman and the road there is closed.
Flags for Slowing Down Traffic
In some cases, the desire is for drivers to slow down. Here, you face oncoming traffic and stretch the left arm to shoulder height with the flag. The right arm is raised with the palm facing the driver. When the traffic slows down, you turn the right side of the body to the driver, lower the flag and indicate that vehicles may continue moving.
Note that there is a recommended distance for each of the procedures. In places where visibility is not guaranteed, there are allowances to change the procedures slightly. For example, in some cases, it is permissible to use the arm that is closest to the road. Flags can also be joined with other road signage to improve the visual impact. When necessary, the flagman can also use two flags.