Traffic management: the most important tools

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If you’re running an event in and around Melbourne, then you’re likely to find great value in all-inclusive traffic management & control services in Epping, for example, but how much do you know about how these services work? Traffic management just seems to happen, but it takes a core group of essential tools that have to be designed and manufactured to help get traffic management right. It’s not just a question of someone in a fluorescent jacket pointing people in a certain direction!

Here are several tools that no traffic management operation can do without.

1. Portable traffic signals

First and foremost are the portable signs and traffic signals that communicate instructions to drivers when they reach a traffic control area. They’re especially useful for controlling traffic when the roads are under maintenance and so the regular flow of the road has been changed. In these situations, drivers need fast and unambiguous instructions on where to go to safely proceed past the road works area.

All road signs have to be clearly visible of course, regardless of how fast the driver in the car is travelling, but the temporary portable signals have to be even more visible. It can be extra dangerous for drivers who are on familiar roads who are coming up on an area where traffic control is being implemented, because if they miss the new signals or signs, then accidents can easily ensue.

2. Traffic cones

The humble traffic cone is among the most well-known symbols of traffic control anywhere in the world. Who would have thought that brightly colored cones made from rubber and plastic could have such influence? But they do. Cones are not just a well-known control device, but also an incredibly versatile one.

The simplest way people have employed these cones is to use them as placeholders for vehicles in reserved parking situations. The cones will sit there preventing others from parking in a space until the intended user arrives. Their high visibility also makes them ideal to use at traffic collision sites, as they warn oncoming traffic of the situation and typically prompt people to slow down. Indeed, the cone is so well known as a symbol of potential trouble on the road, it’s almost as effective as a red traffic light for slowing down cars.

On top of that, cones can be spaced evenly to create boundary lines, and double up as a warning to drivers not to proceed past a certain point.

3. High-visibility clothing

People working in and around traffic control areas often place themselves in considerable danger each day they are there. Road construction workers in particular find themselves in the line of fire as impatient drivers may attempt to circumvent traffic control measures, or may fail to slow down properly while passing areas of construction. It’s a reason that construction and this kind of manual labour has been among the deadliest jobs in Australia for years.

High-vis clothing is a big part of helping to prevent that, especially when used in conjunction with the other tools mentioned above. Things like safety vests in bright and reflective colours are designed to be worn day and night while people are working and will show up vividly in any driver’s view. Drivers are sensitive to those kinds of strong reflections and bright colours. 

Use in the daytime is most important where even bright colours can blend more into the surrounding and cars aren’t using their headlights. The advent of daytime running lights and new colour technology has helped improve this situation.