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Trucking Safety Tip of the Month: Traffic Control Devices

By May 10, 2017April 26th, 2019No Comments

According to OSHA, a traffic control device is a sign, signal, marking or other device placed on or adjacent to a street or highway (by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction), to regulate, warn, or guide traffic. Most commonly this means traffic signals, regulatory and warning signs, and all pavement markings.

The failure to obey a traffic control device can result in a Compliance, Safety and Accountability violation. However, it could result in something much worse such as a traffic accident or fatality.

Truck Writers’ 2017 blog series is aimed at providing truckers with the information needed to increase safety awareness. While we recognize that roughly 80 percent of crashes involving a truck are caused by passenger vehicles, our country needs the participation of truckers to work toward zero deaths.

One step toward this goal is making sure drivers know the different types of traffic control devices.

Traffic Signal

There are at least three main types of signals: Traffic, Pedestrian, and Railroad.

  • Traffic: These lights are setup to control flows of traffic.
  • Pedestrian: Pedestrian lights are activated to aid in an individuals safe crossing of busy streets.
  • Railroad: Railroad crossing lights are used to warn drivers of approaching trains. They are often used in conjunction with safety arms.


There are three classifications of traffic signs: Regulatory, Warning, and Guide.

  • Regulatory Signs: Stop signs, yield signs, and speed limit signs are all examples of regulatory signage a trucker may encounter. Failing to obey what is posted on these signs may result in a citation and/or monetary fine.
  • Warning Signs: These signs provide information to drivers of hazards they are about to encounter. For example, a road grade sign, railroad crossing sign, or dead end sign.
  • Guide Signs: Guide signs inform drivers of upcoming routes, gas, food, lodging, and rest areas.

Pavement Markings

Pavement markings are designed to safely and efficiently move traffic. These markings are typically either yellow or white. Yellow markings separate vehicles travelling in opposite directions. White markings separate vehicles travelling in the same direction.

Examples of pavement markings include those which inform drivers when it is and is not acceptable to pass the driver ahead of them.

At Truck Writers, we work with our clients to build a safety culture. To learn more about our trucking insurance offerings, contact an agent today.

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