Assessment of Advanced Warning Signs for Flagging Operations

Report No: 99-R20

Published in 1999

About the report:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and several other state departments of transportation have expressed interest in modifying the advanced warning sign for work zone flagging operations. The advanced warning sign is intended to alert drivers to the presence of flaggers and to prepare drivers to stop (if necessary) prior to reaching work zone operations. The current or existing flagger sign depicts a symbol of a worker holding a flag; the proposed sign depicts a worker holding a STOP/SLOW paddle. The purpose of this research project was to assess and compare the motoring public's understanding of the existing and proposed advanced warning signs for work zone flagging operations. The study consisted of a literature review and a survey of motorists. Over 4,500 multiple-choice surveys were mailed out to randomly selected Virginia residents. Open-ended questionnaires were also distributed to select groups to provide a comparison with the results of the multiple-choice responses. The survey results indicated that the proposed sign was for the most part understood by Virginia drivers and appeared to be effective at conveying its message. This study recommends that: 1) VDOT ask the FHWA to allow the use of the proposed sign in work zone operations throughout Virginia, and 2) VDOT, along with others, petition the FHWA to add the proposed sign to the MUTCD.

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.


Other Authors

Steven L. Jones

Last updated: December 12, 2023

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