Evaluation of the AutoFlagger in Virginia

Report No: 07-R12

Published in 2006

About the report:

The AutoFlagger consists of a stop/slow paddle and supplemental signs and lights mounted on a trailer that can be operated by remote control. The AutoFlagger is classified as an automated flagger assistance device (AFAD), which is a portable traffic control system that assists a flagger operation for short-term lane closures on two-lane highways. The primary benefit is to enhance the safety of flaggers by removing them from the roadway and moving traffic while also maintaining positive control of traffic approaching the work zone. Another important benefit is that under certain conditions, one flagger can control traffic, thereby allowing the second flagger to perform other duties. Two AutoFlagger units were purchased by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the deployment of the units was recorded and the comments by the users were described. Other AFAD systems used by other state departments of transportation were also reviewed. The AutoFlagger was successfully deployed by two VDOT area headquarters. Various AFADs have been used by several state departments of transportation effectively. The Federal Highway Administration's interim approval of AFADs requires maintenance of an inventory of locations where the AFADs are used. VDOT field offices should purchase AFADs when they have determined that such a device will effectively aid them in doing more with less staff and/or improving the safety of flaggers. They should also evaluate their effectiveness, including the supplemental signing, and send the evaluation results to VDOT's Traffic Engineering Division. After reviewing this information, VDOT's Traffic Engineering Division should decide how VDOT will use AFADs.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

Last updated: November 25, 2023

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