Remote Controlled Flagman Earns Passing Grade from Maine DOT

Field Testing Provides Favorable Results for North America Traffic’s Flagger Assistance Device

In 2007, Maine Department of Transportation purchased ten Remote Controlled Flagman devices , model number RCF 2.4, from North America Traffic in order to determine how the units performed during normal maintenance operations and if the Department should deploy more devices. Maine DOT placed the Remote Control Flagman in locations where temporary traffic control zones were necessary in each of its five regions.

A Remote Controlled Flagman is operated by radio remote control from a distance of up to 1000 feet. They allow the flagger to stand off the roadway and out of danger from passing vehicles or construction vehicles backing up in the work zone. One operator can control multiple units at a distance by remote control or one operator can control traffic at one end of the work zone with a stop slow paddle and control the unit at the opposite end with a remote control.

Each device is equipped with a gate arm and a red and yellow light signal. The devices run on batteries powered by solar panels.

Over several months, crews used the Remote Control Flagmen for approximately 1,472 hours on 59 individual projects or temporary traffic control zones (TTC). They used the devices on both low and high volume roads. About half of the crews occasionally used them in single units rather than in tandem.

Field results were positive. Crews received very favorable comments from the public about the devices. They reported only three instances where drivers ignored the signs and no crashes or adverse events on any of the work zones.

Crews then rated the units on performance, ease of use, ease of set up, public acceptance, safety, durability, and general satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 was the highest and 1 the lowest.

Performance Category Average User Ranking 

Overall Satisfaction 4.5 
Ease of Operation 4.5 
Comparison to conventional flagging 4.7 
Documentation/Users manual 4.2 
Public Acceptance 4.2 

In a final MaineDOT report, crews noted that the Remote Control Flagmen performed very well and judged them to be a good investment. The crews felt that they increased safety, reduced costs and allowed workers to be utilized more efficiently. They recommended that MaineDOT continue to expand the use of these units.

Due to this and other similar studies across the country; the Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices included the Automated Flagger Assistance Device to be allowed as a safer alternative to traditional human flagging.

North America Traffic 

North America Traffic was launched as R.C. Flagman in 1993 when Peter Vieveen built the world’s first Remote Controlled Flagman™ out of his garage. He understood the importance of reducing costs while increasing safety. North America Traffic now operates a full production facility, and its products have been used on over 3,000 projects across North America. Today, it is the world leader in traffic control systems, with 8 different models of portable traffic signals and flagging systems to meet all traffic control needs. For more information, visit www.NorthAmericaTraffic.com, email info@northamericatraffic.com or call 1-877-352-4626.