Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (2023)

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (1)

Traffic control is a fundamental skill that every police officer must learn at the police academy. These skills are especially important for officers who are new to law enforcement.

Traffic control is necessary when a lane must be closed or the traffic pattern changes due to an external event. Traffic accidents are the most common reason for traffic control by the police. The severity of the accidents varies from a slight bending of the bumper without injuries to multiple collisions with several cars and fatalities. Whatever the problem that requires traffic control, we present all the basics of this neglected but important task.

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first reaction

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (2)

If an accident occurs, the police must react quickly at the scene of the accident and take control. The first duty of the arriving police officer is to prevent the accident scene from getting worse. Initially, the most critical traffic control device is the responding officer's patrol car. The co-driver approaching the crash site must determine the best way to position his vehicle to prevent more cars from entering the crash site.

It is not uncommon for other vehicles in disabled cars to crash before police arrive. This is particularly common at night or in bad weather, which affects visibility. Drivers who are unaware of the danger rush into the accident and discover the roadblock too late. Tactical positioning of a vehicle with flashing overhead lights is the best and fastest warning signal to slow down oncoming traffic.

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Several properly positioned patrol vehicles may be needed to slow or stop traffic in more than one direction.

physical traffic control

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (3)

Some officers are in charge of controlling traffic at most accident scenes, while others investigate the accident. Your job is to guide traffic safely around or past a collision. All officers directing traffic on public roads must wear a high visibility reflective vest.

Lanes are generally restricted and only one lane is used for vehicles traveling in both directions. This requires at least two officers in constant communication on either side of the accident scene; One officer stops eastbound traffic, while the other allows westbound traffic on the single lane road. After a few minutes, the officer stops westbound traffic, and once the road is clear of cars, eastbound traffic uses the lane. This will continue until the accident area is cleared and normal traffic resumes. The important part here is the communication between the two officers. Traffic police cannot allow vehicles in one direction to proceed until all vehicles in the other direction have moved out of the common lane.

A large part of traffic management also consists of clear communication between the traffic officer and drivers. The officer should position himself in the center of the lane or intersection, with the body flattened so that the shoulder is facing oncoming traffic. Always try to get the driver's attention. Officers must raise their arm and point directly at the driver. Wait for the driver to notice, as hand signals directed at a distracted driver will not work.

Every traffic officer must learn the two basic hand signals for traffic instructions. The first is an arm extended forward with an open hand and palm outstretched. This is the universal STOP signal. The second goes like this: Standing with your arm outstretched and pointing toward the driver, bend your elbow and bring your open palm around your chin in a circular motion. This is the universal sign for GO.

Hand signals must be repeated intentionally and at a constant rate; Accelerating hand signals to make cars go faster only confuses and irritates drivers. Traffic managers need to be level-headed and not yell at drivers or get frustrated when they don't understand what is being asked of them.

In addition to hand signals, there is also a small piece of metal or plastic that every policeman should have in his pocket: the police whistle can help a lot in traffic management. A loud whistle can draw the attention of even the most inattentive driver. A long whistle along with a raised palm indicates that the vehicle must stop. Two small taps, along with the correct hand signal, signal the stopped driver to proceed.

Additional traffic control equipment

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (4)

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When patrolling an accident scene at night, officers need additional equipment to be seen. Make sure you have all (or at least most) of the following when diverting traffic when running late. look at ourPatrolman's Checklistto ensure you have everything you need, plus the items below.

An important traffic alert device is the traffic signal. They've been used for decades to warn of lane changes and other hazards. On the plus side, they're very inexpensive, easy to install, and highly visible. However, they have significant drawbacks.

In locations where gasoline or other unknown liquids are spilled, it may not be advisable to bring an open flame into the area. Second, the torches don't last long, only about twenty minutes on average before they need to be replaced.

Road flares produce hot, molten waste that poses a potential burn hazard if not handled properly. They must be stored in an environment that does not exceed ninety degrees. Many police cars have a box of flares in the trunk, but this is not the ideal location as temperatures can get much higher in the summer.

flashing LED
Manufacturers are now producing flashing LED units that can replace street lanterns. They are small and sit directly on the ground and emit bright, flashing warning lights. These units can last all night on a single set of replaceable batteries. Also, many models are not damaged when hit by a vehicle.

Barris and prickly pear cones
Another alternative is to use large orange traffic cones or, in the case of prolonged lane blockages, officers can request that flares be taken to the crime scene.

traffic lights
A police officer directing traffic must be clearly visible to oncoming vehicles. At night, officers must use flashlights to direct traffic. These flashlights differ from the others in that they have a long orange cone at the tip that illuminates and draws attention to the policeman's hand signals.

Bad weather including snow, rain, fog or icy roads is a challenging environment for police officers to drive or control traffic. These conditions require officers to give drivers more advanced warnings and longer stopping distances. To direct traffic in such perilous circumstances, law enforcement officers must perform a 360-degree scan of their surroundings. Be prepared to avoid a slipping or skidding vehicle.

crossing accidents

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (5)

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A particularly common and challenging scenario faced by traffic officers is an accident at an intersection. Depending on the severity of the accident, employees may need to divert or even stop traffic. Typically, a vehicle fails to stop at a stop sign or red light and the result is an intersection collision involving two or more vehicles. This often causes side impact injuries from a vehicle (or, more commonly, one car hit by another).

Traffic must stop until the damaged vehicles are towed away and the injured are transported. The police may need more time to complete their on-the-spot investigations. Police can use patrol cars to block lanes and prevent cars from entering the intersection.

Officers must inform the driver of the first stopped car in each direction that the intersection is closed and must remain stopped until the scene is clear. This could take fifteen minutes or more, depending on the circumstances. Most drivers understand and patiently wait, watching the work of emergency services.

Blocking a road or highway

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (6)

If an accident is serious and is being investigated by the police as a life-threatening event or if the victim is trapped, the road may need to remain closed for hours. In this case, traffic officers can help stopped drivers to make a U-turn and leave the area.

Many of the most serious accidents occur on highways, where drivers drive significantly faster than in urban or suburban areas. The scene of a fatal accident may require all lanes to be closed in one direction for hours, and traffic officers must divert traffic and divert it onto back roads.

Special occasions

Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (7)

Police officers can be assigned in traffic for many other reasons besides vehicle accidents. Happy events include special holiday events like city parades or fireworks. On the 4th of July, for example, fireworks can attract thousands of motorists. However, when the fireworks are over, everyone tries to leave at the same time, making traffic planning and direction essential.

Traffic control is also necessary after natural disasters to prevent drivers from entering dangerous areas or flooded lanes. Employees can also divert traffic away from fires, hazardous material spills, civil disturbances, and road closures or diversions during road repair and resurfacing. The guiding principle is to stop or divert traffic to ensure the safety of drivers or allow emergency services to respond and work safely.

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Officers' Guide to the Basics of Traffic Enforcement | Tactical Specialists | tactical equipment. com (8)

The fact that a policeman commands traffic has a tradition of more than one hundred years. The wave of an arm and the whistle haven't changed much from the days when Packards, Model Ts and Studebakers roamed the boulevards. Of course, the equipment has improved and allows for better visibility, but the main mission is the same. Directing traffic reflects a police officer's time-honored tradition of keeping motorists safe from harm.

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How much do traffic officers earn? ›

Find out what the average Traffic salary is

The average traffic salary in South Africa is R 380 662 per year or R 195 per hour. Entry-level positions start at R 213 600 per year, while most experienced workers make up to R 4 490 010 per year.

What powers do traffic enforcement officers have? ›

Our traffic officers have powers to stop traffic so that incidents can be safely dealt with, and sometimes pass on evidence to the police if they witness dangerous driving or other offences.

What does a traffic officer do Grade 2? ›

Traffic Officer's enforce the rules of the road and signs. They ensure that all road users including pedestrians use our roads in an orderly and safe manner. The main purpose of Traffic Officer's is to ensure the safe and free flow of traffic to prevent road crashes and deaths on our roads. 2.

What should I have in my patrol bag? ›

Police Patrol Bag Essentials
  • Hand Sanitizer and Baby Wipes. If you've been in the field for very long, you know how messy things can get. ...
  • Extra Personal Gear. Another important use for your police patrol bag is storing backup essentials. ...
  • Backup Portable Radios. ...
  • Extra Food and Water. ...
  • Camera. ...
  • Binoculars. ...
  • Multitool.
Feb 25, 2020

Is traffic officer a good career? ›

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a traffic officer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $17.69 an hour? That's $36,790 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 37,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

Do you need to study to become a traffic officer? ›

The minimum requirements to become a Traffic Officer are as follows: Minimum educational qualification of matric or grade 12 or equivalent. Code B driving licence (manual transmission). No Criminal record.

What can traffic officers legally do? ›

Traffic officers have the power to stop and direct traffic. Ignoring a traffic officer who orders you to stop is an offence and could result in a £1,000 fine. It could also mean points on your driving licence, or even disqualification. How do I know if a traffic officer is trying to stop me?

Are traffic officers real police officers? ›

Traffic police include police who patrol highways, direct traffic, and address traffic infractions. They may be a separate agency from a main police agency, a unit or division within a police agency, or a type of assignment issued to officers; they can also be part of a transportation authority or highway authority.

What authority does a enforcement officer have? ›

The High Court Writ of Control enables the named High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO), to enforce the claim. Their company will contact and if required, an Enforcement Agent will visit the debtor to secure payment or agree a payment plan. The process authorises the Enforcement Agent to take control of their assets.

What equipment should a duty patrol best always carry around? ›

The guards should always have armored gear like bulletproof vests, body armor, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This gear saves them from stabbing attacks, gunshots, shrapnel bullets, etc. So, armored gear is one of the most used security guard accessories for patrol officers.

What do police keep in their trunks? ›

Cargo storage containers can be found in the trunk and hold many items an officer might need like police tape, fingerprint scanners, blankets, hazmat equipment, and any useful item. There's not much room in the trunk of a police car because of the cargo box and additional equipment.

What do police use orange bags for? ›

Place infectious waste contaminated with bodily fluids from patients with known or suspected infections in this orange bag. Waste includes blood contaminated waste, swabs and wound dressings.

What is the highest paying police job? ›

The Chief of Police is the top position in civilian law enforcement. The Chief of Police has the highest paying job in law enforcement for the civilian sector, making between $96,000 and $160,000 a year (In Salary). Just below the Chief is the Deputy Chief of Police, with a salary of up to $138,000 a year (In Salary).

How many years does it take to become a traffic cop? ›

How long is Traffic Officer training? A Traffic Officer's course takes one year.

How much does traffic police earn per month? ›

So what is the salary of a Traffic Officer? According to Indeed, the average salary of a Traffic officer is R 234 887 per year.

How do you become a traffic cop? ›

There are no set qualifications usually required to become a traffic safety and control officer, however you could gain useful skills by completing a college course, an apprenticeship, or on the job training.


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