In work zones across the country, people are using traffic control devices like Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) or Portable Traffic Light Systems (PTLs) to direct traffic flow, increase safety in the work zone, and keep everything running smoothly.
If you are considering using a traffic control device in your work zone, there are a couple of factors to consider. Firstly, you need to determine whether your work zone is short-term, intermediate-term, or long-term. Secondly, you’ll need to decide which type of device is the best fit for your situation.
Short Term Traffic Control Devices
AFADs are approved by The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to be used in short-term temporary traffic control zones (TTCs). A short-term TTC zone is daytime work occupying a space for over an hour during a daylight period. Typically, AFADs can also be used in intermediate-term TTC zones, which the MUTCD defines as work that occupies a location for more than one daylight period, up to three days, or nighttime work for over an hour.
In short-term and intermediate-term TTC zones, AFADs must be assembled at the beginning of each day, and broken-down at the end of the daylight period and removed from the work zone. There are two types of AFADs:
- Stop/Slow: Stop/Slow AFADs display a large sign that switches from displaying the word ‘STOP,’ signaling oncoming traffic that they need to stop, and ‘SLOW,’ signaling oncoming traffic that they may proceed with caution.
- Red/Yellow: Red/Yellow AFADs have a red and yellow traffic light that sits atop a mast pole. When the light is red, a gate arm lowers, and oncoming traffic is signaled to stop. When the light is flashing yellow, the gate arm raises, and oncoming traffic is signaled to proceed with caution. A gate arm is required on Red/Yellow devices, but not on Stop/Slow devices.
Long-Term Traffic Control Devices
In the world of traffic control, long-term is defined by the MUTCD as work that occupies a location for more than three days. Since AFADs must be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled each day, using them in long-term TTC zones would not be sustainable. Enter, Portable Traffic Light Systems. PTLs are designed to be stable and night safe and can stay assembled during the duration of the work in a long-term TTC zone.
Are you interested in trying an AFAD in your short-term or intermediate-term TTC? Contact IntelliStrobe. We create industry leading Red/Yellow AFADs that will keep your work zone safe and running smoother than ever.