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Traffic Control for Incident Management. Illinois Department of Transportation. Speakers. Don Hoffman- IDOT Traffic Control Supervisor B ureau of Operations Andrew Keyt- Attorney Heyl Royster. Agenda. M anual on U niform T raffic C ontrol D evices.

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traffic control for incident management

Traffic Control for Incident Management

Illinois Department of Transportation


Don Hoffman- IDOT Traffic Control Supervisor

Bureau of Operations

Andrew Keyt- Attorney

Heyl Royster

  • Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
  • Basic traffic control for emergency incidents.
  • Road closure authority.
  • IDOT assistance and Communications Center.
  • Training (information on training).
  • Legislation.
  • Legal questions and answers.
m anual on u niform t raffic c ontrol d evices
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

The MUTCD contains the national standards governing all traffic control devices. All public agencies across the nation rely on the MUTCD to bring uniformity to the roadway. The MUTCD plays a critical role in improving safety and mobility of all road users.

The MUTCD is the law governing all traffic control devices. Non-compliance of the MUTCD ultimately can result in loss of federal-aid funds as well as significant increase in tort liability.

The MUTCD audience includes, but is not limited to: State and, local highway agencies, public officials, the insurance industry, law enforcement agencies, incident management personnel, maintenance personnel, academic institutions, private industry, and planning, construction and engineering organizations.


When used in this Manual, the text headings shall be defined as follows:

Standard—a statement of required, mandatory, or specifically prohibitive practice regarding a traffic control device. All standards are labeled, and the text appears in bold type. The verb shall is typically used. Standards are sometimes modified by Options.

2. Guidance—a statement of recommended, but not mandatory, practice in typical situations, with deviations allowed if engineering judgment or engineering study indicates the deviation to be appropriate. All guidance statements are labeled, and the text appears in unbold type. The verb should is typically used. Guidance statements are sometimes modified by


Option—a statement of practice that is a permissive condition and carries no requirement or recommendation. Options may contain allowable modifications to a Standard or Guidance. All option statements are labeled, and the text appears in unbold type. The verb may is typically used.


4. Support—an informational statement that does not convey any degree of mandate, recommendation, authorization, prohibition, or enforceable condition. Support statements are labeled, and the text appears in unbold type. The verbs shall, should, and may are not used in Support statements.

6 i 01 general


The needs and control of all road users (motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians within the highway, including persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Title II, Paragraph 35.130) through a TTC zone shall be an essential part of highway construction, utility work, maintenance operations, and the management of traffic incidents.


A traffic incident is an emergency road user occurrence, a natural disaster, or other unplanned event that affects or impedes the normal flow of traffic.

A traffic incident management area is an area of a highway where temporary traffic controls are imposed by authorized officials in response to a road user incident, natural disaster, hazardous material spill, or other unplanned incident. It is a type of TTC zone and extends from the first warning device (such as a sign, light, or cone) to the last TTC device or to a point where vehicles return to the original lane alignment and are clear of the incident.


Traffic incidents can be divided into three general classes of duration, each of which has unique traffic control characteristics and needs. These classes are:

Major- expected duration of more than 2 hours.

Intermediate- expected duration of 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Minor- expected duration under 30 minutes.

The primary functions of TTC at a traffic incident management area are to move road users reasonably safely and expeditiously past or around the traffic incident, to reduce the likelihood of secondary traffic crashes, and to preclude unnecessary use of the surrounding local road system.



In order to reduce response time for traffic incidents, highway agencies, appropriate public safety agencies (law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency communications, emergency medical, and other emergency

management), and private sector responders (towing and recovery and hazardous materials contractors) should mutually plan for occurrences of traffic incidents along the major and heavily traveled highway and street


On-scene responders should be trained in safe practices for accomplishing their tasks in and near traffic. Responders should always be aware of their visibility to oncoming traffic and take measures to move the traffic incident as far off the traveled roadway as possible or to provide for appropriate warning.

Responders arriving at a traffic incident should, within 15 minutes of arrival on-scene, estimate the magnitude of the traffic incident,the expected time duration of the traffic incident, and the expected vehicle

queue length, and then should set up the appropriate temporary traffic controls for these estimates.



Warning and guide signs used for TTC traffic incident management situations may have a black legend and border on a fluorescent pink background (see Figure 6I-1).


…The ability to quickly install proper temporary traffic controls might greatly reduce the effects of an incident, such as secondary crashes or excessive traffic delays. An essential part of fire, rescue, spill clean-up, highway agency, and enforcement activities is the proper control of road users through the traffic incident management area in order to protect responders, victims, and other personnel at the site while providing reasonably safe traffic flow. These operations might need corroborating legislative authority for the implementation and enforcement of appropriate road user regulations, parking controls, and speed zoning. It is desirable for these statutes to provide sufficient flexibility in the authority for, and implementation of, TTC to respond to the needs of changing conditions found in traffic incident management areas.

6 i 02 major traffic incidents
6-I.02Major Traffic Incidents


Major traffic incidents are typically traffic incidents involving hazardous materials, fatal traffic crashes involving numerous vehicles, and other natural or man-made disasters. These traffic incidents typically involve closing all or part of a roadway facility for a period exceeding 2 hours.


If the traffic incident is anticipated to last more than 24 hours, applicable procedures and devices set forth in other Chapters of Part 6 should be used.



A road closure …. A combination of traffic engineering and enforcement preparations is needed to determine the detour route, and to install, maintain or operate, and then to remove the necessary traffic control devices when the detour is terminated. Large trucks are a significant concern in such a detour, especially when detouring them from a controlled-access roadway onto local or arterial streets.

During traffic incidents, large trucks might need to follow a route separate from that of automobiles because of bridge, weight, clearance, or geometric restrictions. Also, vehicles carrying hazardous material might need to

follow a different route from other vehicles.

….. Maintaining good public relations is desirable. The cooperation of the news media in publicizing the existence of, and reasons for, traffic incident management areas and their TTC can be of great assistance in keeping road users and the general public well informed.

If manual traffic control is needed, it should be provided by qualified flaggers or uniformed law enforcement officers.



Attention should be paid to the end of the traffic queue such that warning is given to road users approaching the end of the queue.

If flaggers are used to provide traffic control for an incident management situation, the flaggers may use appropriate traffic control devices that are readily available or that can be brought to the traffic incident scene on short notice.

6 i 03 intermediate traffic incidents
6-I.03Intermediate Traffic Incidents


Intermediate traffic incidents typically affect travel lanes for a time period of 30 minutes to 2 hours, and usually require traffic control on the scene to divert road users past the blockage. Full roadway closures might be needed for short periods during traffic incident clearance to allow traffic incident responders to accomplish their tasks.

6 i 04 minor traffic incidents
6-I.04Minor Traffic Incidents


Minor traffic incidents are typically disabled vehicles and minor crashes that result in lane closures of less than 30 minutes. On-scene responders are typically law enforcement and towing companies, and occasionally highway agency service patrol vehicles.

Diversion of traffic into other lanes is often not needed or is needed only briefly. It is not generally possible or practical to set up a lane closure with traffic control devices for a minor traffic incident. Traffic control is the responsibility of on-scene responders.

6 i 05 use of emergency vehicle lighting
6-I.05Use of Emergency Vehicle Lighting


The use of emergency-vehicle lighting (such as high-intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lights) is essential, especially in the initial stages of a traffic incident, for the safety of emergency responders and

persons involved in the traffic incident, as well as road users approaching the traffic incident. Emergency-vehicle lighting, however, provides warning only and provides no effective traffic control. It is often confusing to road users, especially at night. Road users approaching the traffic incident from the opposite direction on a divided facility are often distracted by emergency-vehicle lighting and slow their vehicles to look at the traffic incident posing a hazard to themselves and others traveling in their direction.

The use of emergency-vehicle lighting can be reduced if good traffic control has been established at a traffic incident scene. This is especially true for major traffic incidents that might involve a number of emergency vehicles. If good traffic control is established through placement of advanced warning signs and traffic control devices to divert or detour traffic, then public safety agencies can perform their tasks on scene with minimal emergency-vehicle lighting.



Public safety agencies should examine their policies on the use of emergency-vehicle lighting, especially after a traffic incident scene is secured, with the intent of reducing the use of this lighting as much as possible while not endangering those at the scene. Special consideration should be given to reducing or extinguishing forward facing emergency-vehicle lighting, especially on divided roadways, to reduce distractions to on-coming road users.

Vehicle headlights not needed for illumination, or to provide notice to other road users of the incident response vehicle being in an unexpected location, should be turned off at night.

part 6 temporary traffic control
Part 6Temporary Traffic Control

Chapter 6


General; Fundamentals Principles; Temporary Traffic Control Elements; Pedestrian and Worker Safety; Flagger Control


Temporary Traffic Control Zone Devices


Temporary Traffic Control Zone Activities


Typical Applications (TA)


Control of Traffic Through Incident Management Areas

6a 01 general
6A.01 General


The needs and control of all road users (motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians within the highway, including persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Title II, Paragraph 35.130) through a TTC zone shall be an essential part of highway construction, utility

work, maintenance operations, and the management of traffic incidents.


When the normal function of the roadway is suspended, TTC planning provides for continuity of the movement of motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic (including accessible passage); transit operations; and access (and accessibility) to property and utilities.

The primary function of TTC is to provide for the reasonably safe and efficient movement of road users through or around TTC zones while reasonably protecting workers, responders to traffic incidents, and equipment.

Of equal importance to the public traveling through the TTC zone is the safety of workers performing the many varied tasks within the work space. TTC zones present constantly changing conditions that are unexpected by the road user. This creates an even higher degree of vulnerability for the workers and incident management responders on or near the roadway (see Section 6D.03). At the same time, the TTC zone provides for the efficient completion of whatever activity interrupted the normal use of the roadway.


Consideration for road user safety, worker and responder safety, and the efficiency of road user flow is an integral element of every TTC zone, from planning through completion. A concurrent objective of the TTC is the efficient construction and maintenance of the highway and the efficient resolution of traffic incidents.

6b 01 fundamental
6B.01 Fundamental …


Construction, maintenance, utility, and incident zones can all benefit from TTC to compensate for the unexpected or unusual situations faced by road users. When planning for TTC in these zones, it can be assumed that it is appropriate for road users to exercise caution. Even though road users are assumed to be using caution,

special care is still needed in applying TTC techniques.

During TTC activities, commercial vehicles might need to follow a different route from passenger vehicles because of bridge, weight, clearance, or geometric restrictions. Also, vehicles carrying hazardous materials might need to follow a different route from other vehicles. The Hazardous Materials and National Network signs are included in Sections 2B.52 and 2B.53, respectively.


Before any new detour or temporary route is opened to traffic, all necessary signs shall be in place. All TTC devices shall be removed as soon as practical when they are no longer needed. When work is suspended for short periods of time, TTC devices that are no longer appropriate shall be removed or covered.



Formulating specific plans for TTC at traffic incidents is difficult because of the variety of situations that can arise.


General plans or guidelines should be developed to provide safety for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, workers, enforcement/emergency officials, and equipment, with the following factors being considered:

B. A TTC plan, in detail appropriate to the complexity of the work project or incident, should be prepared and understood by all responsible parties before the site is occupied. Any changes in the TTC plan should be approved by an official knowledgeable (for example, trained and/or certified) in proper TTC practices.

6c temporary traffic control elements



TTC plans range in scope from being very detailed to simply referencing typical drawings contained in this Manual, standard approved highway agency drawings and manuals, or specific drawings contained in the contract

documents. The degree of detail in the TTC plan depends entirely on the nature and complexity of the situation.


TTC plans should be prepared by persons knowledgeable (for example, trained and/or certified) about the fundamental principles of TTC and work activities to be performed. The design, selection and placement of TTC

devices for a TTC plan should be based on engineering judgment.

6c 03 components of temporary traffic control zones
6C.03 Components of Temporary Traffic Control Zones


Most TTC zones are divided into four areas: the advance warning area, the transition area, the activity area, and the termination area. Figure 6C- 1 illustrates these four areas. These four areas are described in Sections

6C.04 through 6C.07.

advancewarning area
AdvanceWarning Area

The advance warning area is the section of highway where road users are informed about the upcoming work zone or incident area.

The advance warning area may vary from a single sign or high-intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lights on a vehicle to a series of signs in advance of the TTC zone activity area.

On higher speed facilities, place advanced signage farther back (1000’-1500’) and less for lower speed facilities. Sign placement may need to be further on larger incidents to advance warn motorists before the queuing area.

6e flagger control


Because flaggers are responsible for public safety and make the greatest number of contacts with the public of all highway workers, they should be trained in safe traffic control practices and public contact techniques.

Flaggers should be able to satisfactorily demonstrate the following abilities:

Ability to receive and communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly, and courteously.

B. Ability to move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles.

C. Ability to control signaling devices (such as paddles and flags) in order to provide clear and positive guidance to drivers approaching a TTC zone in frequently changing situations.


D. Ability to understand and apply safe traffic control practices, sometimes in stressful or emergency situations.

E. Ability to recognize dangerous traffic situations and warn workers in sufficient time to avoid injury.

Flaggers may use red flags, lighted flashlights, and other means on hand at the initial response.

At night, flaggers should be wearing high visibility apparel- including law enforcement.

6f temporary traffic control zone devices


For use on the National Highway System, all devices should meet NCHRP 350.

What is NCHRP 350?

Essentially, a device is tested to make sure it is safe and does not impose a hazard itself.

Most all devices used by emergency personnel will meet this requirement.

6h typical applications

Minimum device installation guide for traffic control.

idot assistance

Major Incidents

Road Closures, Detours, Accidents involving multiple facilities

Temporary traffic control is usually provided by the Illinois State Police.

IDOT can provide necessary signage and barricades for use on loan. It is important to consider this may take time and not be accessible as quickly as possible.

Either the towing company or persons involved in incident are responsible for debris clean-up. If the magnitude of debris will prolong the opening of a road, IDOT may clean-up but will asses charges to the responsible party for labor and transportation.

Lane and night closures should be avoided, if possible, due to the possible inability to advance warn motorist.

The removal of a wrecked vehicle or other debris not interfering with the free flow of traffic is not considered an emergency.

Install detour routes for long term incidents. Usually greater than six hours depending upon facility involved.

communications center


24 hours a day- 7 days a week.

Answers all calls after hours and monitors roadways in Peoria area with numerous cameras.

Notify as soon as possible concerning road closures or incidents.

Can contact appropriate personnel for any situation.

Communications Center
road closure authority

Generally, IDOT has the final say.

IDOT and Illinois State Police have an agreement

and open communication and if deemed the road needs closed it is done.

Interstates are closed as a last resort and require the immediate notification of IDOT.

Field technician may respond and question or examine situation to determine if traffic can pass.

Open communication is vital.

Road Closure authority

Scott’s Law

“Move Over” law. Motorists must slow down or move over when emergency vehicles are on the highway.

worker visibility rule 23 cfr part 634
Worker Visibility Rule 23 CFR Part 634

This regulation implemented section 1402 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient

Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59; August 10, 2005), which directed the Secretary of Transportation to, within 1 year, issue regulations to decrease the likelihood of worker injury and maintain the free flow of vehicular traffic by requiring workers whose duties place them on or in close proximity to a Federal-aid highway to wear high-visibility safety apparel.

The proposed definition of ‘‘worker’’ included any person on foot whose duties place them within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance forces, survey crews, utility crews, responders to incidents, including law enforcement personnel, within the highway right-of-way of a Federal-aid

highway. ‘‘High-visibility safety apparel’’ was defined as any garment meeting the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 107–2004 Class 2 or 3 standard.


In April 2008, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Transportation Research Institute released a study on the conspicuity of first-responder safety garments. The study was conducted on a closed track in both daytime and nighttime conditions to compare the

conspicuity of three different types of safety garments used by first responders:

NFPA 1971 turnout gear coats, ANSI/ ISEA 107 safety vests, and ANSI/ISEA 207 safety vests. Eight participants, balanced for gender and age, drove instrumented vehicles on the closed track indicating the distance at which they could detect workers at a simulated emergency response scene. The results show no statistically significant difference in the distance at which workers were detected, regardless of

which garment was worn. In other words, all three garment standards provided equal levels of conspicuity under the conditions examined. The results suggest that all of the garments studied should be considered equivalent relative to first responder conspicuity when working in close proximity to traffic. Based upon this research, the

FHWA believes that the PPE for firefighters specified in the NFPA 1971 standard is equivalent to the ANSI 107– 2004 Class 2 garment.

Therefore, the FHWA agreed with the recommendation from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and provided an exception for law enforcement personnel in the Final Rule

amendments to rule from comments
Amendments to Rule from comments

634.2 Definitions.

* * * * *

Workers means people on foot whose duties place them within the right-ofway of a Federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance forces; survey crews; utility crews; responders to incidents within the highway right-of-way; firefighters and other emergency responders when they are not directly exposed to flame, fire,

heat, and/or hazardous materials; and law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway.

final rule
Final Rule

All workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel. Firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in emergency operations that directly expose them to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials may wear retroreflective turn-out gear that is

specified and regulated by other organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association. Firefighters or other emergency responders working within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway and engaged in any other types of operations shall wear high-visibility safety apparel.