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Traffic Direction and Control ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.

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1 Traffic Direction and Control ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

2 I.INTRODUCTION A.One major responsibility of a police officer is to assure safe and efficient movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic on streets and highways.

3 1.When automobiles began to appear in growing numbers, it became necessary to enact laws to regulate the flow of traffic and the behavior of the drivers.

4 2.It was only natural that law enforcement agencies be assigned the responsibility for enforcing those laws. a. New highways were constructed to connect urban areas with the countryside throughout the late 1920s and 1930s.

5 b.Law enforcement officers traffic direction and control responsibilities grew in scope with the increase in highways.

6 B. The police officer will be called upon to provide traffic control services at scenes of fires, large crowds and gatherings, peak traffic flow hours, and traffic tie-ups caused by inclement weather or unusual conditions.

7 C.Whatever the problem, the patrol officer will be expected to address the problem the best way that they can and to call for whatever assistance is necessary to alleviate the situation and restore it to normal.

8 D. Traffic control problems may be divided into four groups: 1.Moving hazardous traffic law violations. a. Violations of the law which create a hazardous situation and may contribute to a motor vehicle collision.

9 2.Minor moving traffic law violations. 3. Inattentiveness of drivers which can result in delays. 4.Motorists who resist following the directions of traffic control measures and devices.

10 E. What is acceptable driving behavior at a given time and place depends upon three things: 1.The drivers interpretation of the expected standard of behavior. 2. How the motorist interprets directions given to him or her.

11 3.How the individual patrol officer feels about the drivers behavior which occurs in his presence. a. What is acceptable or non ‑ acceptable driving is based mainly on decisions and actions of the patrol officer.

12 (1) Most drivers base their driving habits on what is or is not enforced by the patrol officer. (2)Motorists look to police officers present to provide them with clear and easy to understand directions.

13 II. WHY ARE TRAFFIC CONTROLS NECESSARY? A.Traffic controls are an attempt to provide direction, organization and order to movement of traffic during times of events, traffic collisions and disasters.

14 1.Traffic control reflects the beliefs, behavior and standards expected by motorists when attending large functions. 2.Special events, amusement parks, and theme parks pose special problems.

15 B.Even though safe and proper behavior may be well defined, drivers do not always voluntarily conform to the required behavior. 1. Traffic control seeks to obtain maximum compliance with safe driving rules by the majority of drivers.

16 2. When the rate of driver errors goes down, traffic accidents will be reduced. 3.Subsequently, when traffic control measures are effective and obeyed, the rate of accidents will be reduced and the severity of damage to life and property will be minimized.

17 C.When working traffic control, an officer’s most important job is to let drivers and pedestrians know what it is they are to do. 1.If motorists do not understand the officer’s signals, they will have trouble and so will the officer.

18 a.It is the responsibility of the officer directing traffic to tell people how, when, and where they may move in their vehicles or on foot. b.The officer must see to it that both cars and pedestrians are all given an equal chance to move.

19 2.What an officer actually does is to tell motorists how to behave. a. Officer’s need to be on hand to make decisions and direct motorist movement when traffic is heavy.

20 (1) Officer presence reduces drivers and pedestrians from trying to move and take foolish chances.

21 3.Drivers are seldom in a position where they can hear an officer’s verbal command to stop when necessary. a.Officer’s need to use a type of "sign language" that is clearly and universally understood by motorists.

22 4.If each officer were to use his or her own signal system, different from all other officers who direct traffic, chaos would result. a.It is imperative for all officers to use a uniform system when directing traffic.

23 b.Equally important are use of and gestures that motorists can see from a long way off.

24 III. HOW TRAFFIC CONTROL ENFORCEMENT AFFECTS DRIVERS A.To understand enforcement and how it influences driving behavior, it is necessary to understand some principles of human behavior.

25 1.People never do anything without a reason. 2. The "why" of any given action may result from a combination of factors. a.Some are in the person and some from the environment.

26 3. To explore fully all the "why" of human behavior would be an extremely difficult task.

27 4. There are certain principles which are helpful in understanding enforcement. a.These may be divided into two general categories. (1) Positive motives. (a) Motives which induce a person to seek something for satisfaction.

28 (2) Negative motives. (a) Motives which cause us to avoid actions that will be unpleasant.

29 5. When these motives conflict with each other, the motive which is the strongest will prevail. a. If our motivation toward desire for unacceptable driving behavior is stronger than our motive for obeying traffic controls, we will usually behave in an unacceptable manner.

30 6. Our concern is primarily with situations in which desire conflicts with what is acceptable behavior.

31 7.Adequate police presence that is frequent and certain, produces a strong desire to comply with traffic control measures. a.Adequate staffing and appearance of confidence creates voluntary compliance.

32 b.Strict and impartial enforcement leads to developing greater voluntary compliance and less confrontations.

33 IV.OFFICER SAFETY AND TRAFFIC CONTROL A.Officers have a very difficult task in directing and controlling traffic at a collision scene. 1.The amount of traffic on the roadway combined with the curiosity factor of the public distracts drivers from operating their vehicle in a safe manner.

34 2.Over the years law enforcement has seen a major change in the available equipment utilized in traffic accident scene management. a.For example the "arrow stick" is being added to the majority of the newer style police light bars.

35 (1)These traffic directional light controls can more effectively gain the attention of the curious motorist. (2)Once their attention is gained, the device directs the motorist toward the area intended for their travel.

36 b.The use of the arrow stick light bar will also keep motorists from needing to ask questions as they pass the collision scene.

37 B.Safety is a primary concern in traffic scene management. 1.Officers have been injured or killed while setting flare patterns and directing traffic at collision scenes.

38 a.Officers wearing dark blue uniforms are very difficult to see due to the non ‑ reflective nature of the uniform material. b.Many officers have had close calls while directing traffic at a collision scene.

39 2.Officers should make use of any available lighting that will help illuminate both themselves and the roadway. a.The public will be distracted while passing through an accident location and will not see an officer in the roadway.

40 3. Some police departments have started issuing an orange striped vest for the officers to wear over their uniforms for higher visibility. 4.Consider the placement of the patrol vehicle in respect to the roadway and where traffic direction will take place.

41 5.Roadway and weather conditions may add to the visibility problem motorists have in seeing an officer both during the day and evening. a.Consider patrol vehicle placement in relationship to the damaged vehicles.

42 b.Many officers no longer carry whistles, but this may be a useful tool to get the attention of the daydreaming motorist. (1)A whistle may also be viewed as less aggressive than yelling at a motorist.

43 6.A flare pattern or police unit itself will not handle the traffic flow without some help from the officer. a.Many officers set a flare pattern and become distracted by the collision scene as well as passing motorists.

44 b. Left unattended the flare pattern burns out, and vehicles begin to drive around the police unit.

45 C.Patience has proven to be the best way to direct traffic. 1.Officers must expect that some motorists will be confused.

46 a.Be prepared for the passing motorist to ask questions. b.Many of these citizens have been driving this same roadway for many years and suddenly their driving pattern is being changed.

47 2.Plan the flare pattern, patrol unit placement, or barricades in such a way as to facilitate the smoothest flow of traffic possible for the problem at hand. a.Try not to become frustrated at the motorist who appears to be totally lost.

48 3.A secondary problem in traffic flow outside of the incident scene is "rubber neckers." a.Many secondary collisions outside of the original accident scene are due to the lack of attention by the passing drivers.

49 b. Maintaining on going traffic direction and constant urging of the traffic flow can sometimes avert this type of activity.

50 V. TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES A.The main purpose of traffic control devices is to warn, guide and direct vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

51 1.The proper use of warning devices will: a. reduce traffic congestion. b. reduce accidents. c.increase traffic flow. d. increase motorist understanding.

52 B. Types of warning devices available to the patrol officer 1. Plastic or rubber traffic cones 2.Highway road flares 3. Road barricades and signs 4.Patrol unit emergency equipment

53 C. Traffic cones may be used in lieu of flares. 1. Cones may be used as a substitute for flares in daytime situations and for long term road closures.

54 a.Simply placing cones is not the answer – place yourself in an automobile approaching your location: (1) Do you understand what is required? (2)Do you have ample time to take action?

55 2. Illuminated cones may be used as a substitute for highway flares in nighttime situations.

56 D. Barricades and signs 1.Barricades and signs may be used for long ‑ term road closures and hazardous situations.

57 2.These devices are also excellent choices for channeling vehicles into and out of parking structures or lots. a.When using signs place them far enough away from the point of desired action to give motorists time to prepare and make a safe movement.

58 b.Barricades should be placed to allow easy identification as to what the intended action of the motorist will be.

59 3.When using barricades or cones to channel traffic from multiple lanes into fewer lanes – take lanes away gradually over a distance to allow motorists time to merge safely.

60 VI.FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN MAKING DECISIONS A.Several factors may influence an officer’s decision in the use of traffic control measures and equipment.

61 1.Such things as highway design, roadway speeds, fog, fire, smoke and hazardous materials may come into play when making a decision of how to contain the scene. a.All factors must be equally weighed in the planning process.

62 b.Factors could severely impact the perimeter of the scene to be contained. c.The scene can quickly become overrun by interested parties, the press, and additional emergency rescue personnel.

63 2.Check for downed power lines that may become a major electrical hazard to drivers, bystanders, and responding rescue personnel. a.Passing drivers have been known to collide with power and telephone lines that were not properly protected after the arrival of officers on the scene.

64 3.Don't rely on the passing motorist to perceive the hazard at hand. a.In a very heavy rain storm, the flare pattern or police unit may not become visible to approaching traffic until just a short distance from the scene.

65 VII.DIRECTING TRAFFIC BY HAND A.Traffic control officers must let people know that they are in charge by standing where motorists and pedestrians cannot fail to see them.

66 1.The best location is usually right in the center of the intersection or crossing. a.Stand authoritatively. b.Stand straight with your weight equally distributed on each foot.

67 c.When not using hands to signal, let them hang easily at your side. d.Do not face vehicles authorized by you to move. (1)Stand with your side toward them.

68 B.In stopping traffic two motions are used. 1.First, the officer points with the arm and finger and holds this point until the driver sees the officer.

69 a.Then the officer raises his or her pointing hand (but not his whole arm) so that the palm is toward the driver. b.Hold this position until the driver stops.

70 c.Traffic from both directions must be stopped to give traffic on the cross street a chance. d.Stop the traffic coming from one side first, then from the other.

71 2.Second, after halting traffic with one hand, the officer holds that hand in the stop position and turns to the other side and repeat the process. a.Do not lower either arm untilcars coming from both directions are halted.

72 C.Starting traffic flow movement 1.To start traffic, the officer should stand so that their side is toward the traffic to be started.

73 a.The officer then points with the arm and finger toward the car they want to start and hold it until they receive the driver's attention. b.With the palm up, swing the hand up and over the chin, bending the arm only at the elbow.

74 2.After traffic has been started from one side, lower that arm to the side and start traffic from the other side using the same method. a.The officer should use the same hand signals to give the go ‑ ahead to slow and timid drivers.

75 D.Allowing turning movements 1.Right turns a.Signals for a right turn movement are not usually required at an intersection.

76 b.When it is necessary, the arm the officer signals with will be determined by the car's direction. (1)If it approaches from the right, point toward the driver involved with the right arm.

77 (2)If the car approaches from the left, point with the left arm. (a)Swing the arm in the direction the driver is to go.

78 2.Left turns a.In helping a driver to make a left turn, first halt traffic in the lane or lanes through which the turning car must cross.

79 b.If the car is approaching from the left, give the stop signal with your right arm to stop traffic in the lane through which the turningdriver is to pass. (1)Hold the stop signal with your right arm and then give the turning gesture with the left arm.

80 c.If a vehicle approaches from the right, the officer should turn around and face the direction the car making the turn is to follow. (1)Halt traffic with your right arm and give the turning gesture with your left arm.

81 3.Situations requiring two officer’s traffic control a.There is sometimes a need for more than one officer at a busy intersection or control point.

82 (1)One of the two officers must originate all signals and gestures. (2)The other officer assists by helping to make the lead officers decisions known.

83 E.Signaling aids 1.The whistle may be used to get the attention of drivers and pedestrians. a.The whistle is used along with the appropriate gesture as follows:

84 (1)One long blast is used with a stop signal. (2)Two short blasts are used with a proceed signal. (3)Several short blasts are used to get the attention of a driver or pedestrian.

85 b.The officer should be prudent in using the whistle at all times. c.Whistle blasts directed at pedestrians are usually not required to be as shrill as those used to command the attention of motorists.

86 d.The voice is seldom used in directing traffic. Arm gestures and the whistle are usually sufficient. (1)Verbal orders are not easy to convey to drivers or understand especially at noisy intersections.

87 (2)Misinterpretations of commands are dangerous. (3)An order that is shouted can antagonize the motorist or pedestrian.

88 2.A flashlight can be useful in halting traffic in an emergency. a.To stop traffic with a flashlight the officer slowly swings the flashlight at arm's length across the path of the approaching vehicle.

89 b.The beam from the flashlight strikes the pavement as an elongated spot of moving light that can be seen by the motorist. c. The officer should never stand directly in front of the approaching vehicle.

90 d.After the motorist has stopped, arm signals many be used to direct movement in the usual manner. e.The officer should never shine the light beam directly into the drivers face.

91 VIII.METHODS OF CONTROLLING THE INTERSECTION A.Sometimes there is not enough room on the roadway for all the people who want to use it.

92 1.Without officer assistance a traffic jam will most likely develop. a.This could develop into a problem that will bring traffic to a standstill ("gridlock"). b.Impatient drivers may become involved in accidents while attempting trying to free themselves.

93 2. To keep traffic congestion from developing into a traffic hazard, somebody must decide how cars will move.

94 B.The patrol officer has the responsibility to assess the situation and make necessary decisions quickly and effectively to get traffic moving at maximum capacity.

95 1.Motorists and pedestrians do not mind the wait for their turn to move when they know an officer is present directing traffic. a.They know the officer is trying to make the best possible use of the resources available.

96 2.Traffic signals are not always capable of handling the volume of traffic alone. a. It may become necessary for an officer to override the traffic signal and control the operation of the signal manually.

97 b. In worst case situations in may be necessary to shut down the signal and manually direct traffic from the middle of the intersection.

98 C.A traffic control officer is expected to handle all of the following responsibilities and duties as required. 1.Regulate the movement of east and west or north and south traffic.

99 2.Control all necessary turning movements in the intersection. 3.Coordinate vehicle movement at the impacted intersection with traffic flow from neighboring intersections. 4.Reroute traffic as necessary in emergencies.

100 5.Monitor the safety of pedestrians crossing the street. a.Prevent pedestrians from jaywalking. 6.Prevent illegal parking, and double-parking if it interferes with the safe movement of traffic.

101 7.Clear the way for the safe passage of emergency vehicles. 8.Assist motorists and pedestrians who seek information.

102 D.Officer's position in the intersection. 1.When assigned to an intersection where no signals are operating, standing near the center is recommended.

103 a.This allows the officer to see what is going on around the intersection. b.It makes it easier for motorists and pedestrians to see the officer.

104 2.In some instances the center of the intersection may not be the ideal place to stand. a.Be prepared to evaluate safety issues and visibility problems if necessary to select an alternative location.

105 3.Things an officer needs to consider when choosing a place to stand for traffic control are: a.Does the officer have a good view of oncoming traffic?

106 b.Can the officer be seen by all approaching lanes of traffic and by pedestrians? c.Will the officer’s presence interfere with the free movement of traffic?

107 d.Can all turning movements be controlled effectively from that officer’s location? e.Can pedestrian movement be safely controlled from the officer’s location? f.The most important concern: is the location safe for the officer?

108 E.Directing turning movements 1.When permitting right hand turns a.Only allow turns from the right hand lane. b.Do not allow right turns from lanes that will cut across the path of other cars.

109 c.This method allows right turns to almost take care of themselves. d.Except in unusual conditions, do not stop traffic to allow a vehicle to make a right turn if they are in the wrong lane.

110 e.It is rarely necessary to stop cross traffic to let right ‑ turning traffic to merge with it. (1)If cross traffic is very heavy, it may need to be stopped to give the car trying to turn an opportunity to complete the maneuver.

111 f.Right turns need to be prohibited when it creates a hazard. (1)Motorists wishing to turn right may be told to wait until they can turn or be directed to continue across the intersection safely.

112 2.Left turns usually cut across multiple lanes of traffic, and offer more potential for conflicts with opposing lanes of traffic. a.Left turns require more of an officer’s attention when directing traffic.

113 b. An officer should prohibit left turns and direct a motorist to go straight ahead or turn in another direction when: (1) The driver is in the wrong lane and to allow the turn would require adjacent lanes having to be stopped.

114 (2)The street the motorist wishes to turn onto is blocked. (3) Pedestrian traffic is too heavy to safely create a gap for the turning movement to be completed safely. (4)Allowing a car to wait for a gap in traffic would create an unreasonable time delay to other motorists.

115 3.Two vehicles in opposing lanes of traffic can sometimes be permitted to turn at the same time if the intersection is wide enough.

116 IX.ANTICIPATING TRAFFIC CONGESTION AREAS A.As traffic becomes more congested the job of traffic control becomes more complicated as vehicles jam the intersection.

117 1.Officer’s are assigned to direct traffic primarily to watch for congestion and to keep a jam from forming.

118 2.The following guidelines if used will assist in identifying potential problem areas: a. Visually monitor all exits of the intersection. (1)If an exit starts to fill up, the officer should begin directing the traffic.

119 b. Observe the traffic flow on both streets, making certain that cross traffic has an opportunity to move. (1)If there are not enough natural gaps in the flow of traffic, the officer must create one to allow the stalled traffic to move.

120 3.The officer must anticipate congestion. a.Never let a vehicle enter the intersection unless it has ample room to exit.

121 b.Keep a reserve space in all exit lanes. (1)This will keep vehicles from filling the lanes entirely and blocking the intersection.

122 4.The officer should keep alert for blockage between intersections. a.Double parking, unauthorized loading, and minor accidents are frequent causes of this type of congestion.

123 5. Make certain that motorists trying to make left turns do not block one or more lanes of travel. a.Assist them in completing the turn or prohibit the turning movement, as the situation requires.

124 B.Blockage indicates that traffic is not adjusting properly. 1.This may be a result of unusually heavy traffic volume or because of inappropriate behavior on the part of drivers.

125 a.An officer must try to identify and remedy the specific source of trouble as quickly as possible. b.When the flow returns to normal, the officer should resume normal techniques of traffic direction.

126 2.It is much easier to prevent a traffic tie-up than to untangle one after it has become "grid-locked”. a.By being vigilant an officer can avoid traffic jams.

127 3.If traffic begins to back up, the officer should prohibit turns or even detour traffic to ease congestion when necessary. a. The officer must consider what impact these remedial actions may have on nearby intersections.

128 X.GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR MINIMIZING PROBLEMS A.Try to improve the smoothness and continuity of traffic flow. 1. Use uniform signals and gestures that are easy to understand by motorists.

129 2.Breaks in traffic should be made at natural gaps whenever possible to help maintain smooth traffic movement. a.This technique will allow vehicles farther back in traffic an opportunity to stop smoothly behind other motorists. b. It is also the logical time in which to allow cross traffic to flow through the intersection.

130 3. When it is difficult to find a natural break in the line of traffic to be halted, make the break behind a slow ‑ moving vehicle such as a large truck.

131 4.Continually be on the alert for stragglers and inattentive motorists. a. It is important to keep them moving and in their proper lanes. b.Three sharp blasts on the whistle will usually get the inattentive motorists attention.

132 5. An officer must maintain a professional approach to traffic assessment and traffic control. a.When a traffic jam starts forming in the intersection, the officer must look for the trouble spot immediately.

133 b.An officer must avoid losing their temper with motorists. c.Decisions need to be made quickly and systematically.

134 6.An officer should never leave their position just to "reprimand" an errant driver. 7.Be firm with motorists and never get into arguments.

135 B.Traffic control at signalized intersections. 1.Officer’s are usually assigned to signalized intersections when the traffic lights are not adequate to prevent congestion from occurring due to heavy traffic.

136 a.Traffic signals will allow officer’s to pay closer attention to maintaining the smooth movement of traffic because they can spend less time physically directing traffic.

137 2.One of the biggest responsibilities an officer will have is the monitoring of traffic for symptoms of grid-lock and congestion. a.Traffic may be kept moving with minimum delay by supplementing the traffic signal using a whistle and proper hand signals as necessary.

138 3.When the traffic congestion becomes too heavy to be handled by the automatic traffic control device, it should be switched to manual operation and operated by hand.

139 a.Sufficient time in the caution phase is needed to clear the intersection. (1)Cross traffic is usually anxious to start when the signal changes.

140 4.The traffic signal should be turned off when traffic congestion becomes too heavy to be adequately handled by the light and an officer will need to direct traffic in person.

141 5.Should an officer find a traffic light out of order, the appropriate agency should be notified at once. a.The signal should be turned off and traffic directed manually until a repair crew arrives.

142 C.An intersection on a hillside adds a greater concern for safety than congestion. 1.The officer controlling traffic should allow vehicles traveling downhill enough time to stop before changing the direction of traffic flow.

143 a.Allow vehicles coming uphill, especially heavy trucks, to clear the intersection whenever possible. b.It is difficult for heavy trucks to start once they have stopped on the upgrade.

144 2.These precautions must be considered in rainy weather, and especially under icy conditions. a.If it becomes extremely dangerous to stop traffic on the grade because of slippery conditions, it may be necessary to close the highway to traffic. (1) Exceptions may be made for vehicles with chains or snow tires.

145 D.Working traffic control between intersections 1.The purpose of this type of assignment is the prevention of mid-block traffic jams which interfere with traffic flow.

146 a. Additional personnel may be needed to assist officers working the intersection by keeping motorists from double parking, parking in no ‑ parking areas, or loading or unloading improperly.

147 2.When traffic congestion results in a stoppage of traffic flow a hazard to the efficient use of the highway develops. 3.Usually, verbal orders to the motorists are enough to keep the roadway clear.

148 E.Working in pairs or teams for traffic control 1.Two officers are sometimes required at locals where people and traffic need to be regulated.

149 2.These assignments are usually made when the volume of traffic, particularly pedestrian traffic is heavy.

150 3.It is critical when working with other officers to have only one officer in charge. a.Other officers assist helping to enforce the primary officers decisions as to flow movements.

151 4.In some instances an officer may be stationed mid ‑ block to watch for double parking, that will slow traffic flow. 5.Other intersections may exclusively require the regulation of pedestrian movements, which would otherwise impede critical turning movements and result in grid-lock.

152 6.Sometimes the team of officers may be working at adjacent intersections and not within sight of each other. a.In these situations radio contact is very important for the officers to maintain communication.

153 XI.THE IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC CONFIDENCE A.The job of a traffic control officer becomes much easier when they understand the attitude of the public.

154 1.Being able to demand the obedience to directions and orders is absolutely essential for the officer assigned to traffic control responsibilities. a.An officer must command the respect of the public in order to perform efficiently.

155 2.An officer should never display an attitude of being irritated or impatient with an errant motorist.

156 B.The most successful and experienced traffic officers always seem to enjoy what they are doing and seem to be cheerful in the way they go about their work. 1.Very little if anything will be gained by becoming angry and shouting insults at people.

157 a.The officer will lose the esteem and confidence of the public. b.No one likes to be embarrassed it only creates resentment and makes a situation more difficult to handle.

158 this concludes Traffic Direction and Control



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