A traffic control device is any piece of equipment that informs, guides, or directs motorists and pedestrians for safety near roadways. These devices can use symbols, colors, and phrases to communicate hazards, limits, or other actions people should take to stay safe while traveling. Other forms of traffic control can be barriers, road markings, and physical indicators that help guide the flow of traffic. What is a traffic control device?
Types of Traffic Control Devices
Regulatory signs are one of the most common traffic control devices and are a requirement to learn in driver’s education courses. They are mandatory because of how important they are for controlling traffic behavior. Regulatory signs are lawfully enforced, and there is a penalty for not following them. Stop signs, yield signs, speed limit signs, and no U-turn signs are all essential for preventing crashes and forcing drivers to pay attention.
Warning signs are not enforced by law but rather a strong recommendation for the safety of drivers. These signs are typically yellow and warn people of animal crossings, sharp curves, stop signs ahead, or railroad crossings. They are very helpful for drivers navigating new areas where they aren’t as familiar with the terrain.
Informational signs assist drivers with navigation and provide them with information about street names, interstates, nearby rest stops, and other attractions. They are very beneficial for tourists who are looking for places to see, places to eat, places to camp, etc.
Traffic signals come in many forms and are very versatile for traffic control. The standard green, yellow, and red lights are commonly found together above intersections and can start and stop traffic fluently.
The great thing about traffic signals is that they can be operated unattended for as long as you need. The flashing, solid, or shaped variations of lights allow the signal to send multiple meanings to drivers and provide the safest driving experience.
Portable traffic signals are very popular in the world of construction and can provide a much safer work environment. There are standard portable traffic signals that can be used for long-term projects and can control traffic just like a traditional hanging signal would.
There are also auto flaggers that can be installed roadside and flash their lights before lowering a caution bar to halt traffic. All variations of the portable traffic signals are reliable and keep workers out of the way of traffic. Some come equipped with solar panels and long-lasting batteries for minimal maintenance.
Other forms of traffic control combine road signs and flashing lights for a stronger visual for drivers. All of these devices are available in portable variations, so you can take your devices wherever work takes you.
Having visual road markings is one of the most important features of traffic control. Painted lanes, arrows, crosswalks, and stopping points tell drivers exactly how to operate their vehicles on the road and keep pedestrians safe.
Road markings are very strategic and serve more of a purpose than just visual guidance. Dashed or solid lane dividers indicate whether or not drivers are allowed to switch lanes and pass another vehicle. Markings on an expressway can tell drivers which lane turns into an exit and gives them time to merge. The benefits of road markings are limitless and make roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians.
Traffic bollards are vertical barriers that prevent traffic from passing through. The bollards are commonly found near shopping complexes and anywhere with large crowds of people. The strong barriers are visual indicators that keep drivers out of restricted areas.
They are also found in the form of a cone, but that is for temporary construction use and does not provide protection from a moving vehicle. Traffic bollards are a pedestrian’s best friend and can take the impact of a moving vehicle in case of an accident.
How Carolina Traffic Devices Can Help
Now that you know more about traffic devices, are you ready to put them to good use? If you have an upcoming construction project that requires traffic signals or traffic control devices, we have a variety to choose from. All of our products are available for sale or rent and are MASH-approved. For more information about what is a traffic control device and how we can help serve your construction project, contact us.