Section 4: Traffic Counter SafetyAnchor: #i1007847
Working at Night
A flashlight is required equipment for personnel on night shifts. This will be used to inspect the ground and find a suitable parking place. Do not shine the flashlight into oncoming traffic.
Expect local law enforcement to inspect your activity during night shifts; be courteous and respectful when answering all questions.Anchor: #i1007865
Working in Heat
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are dangers during hot weather. Counting sites located in urban areas often do not provide protection from the sun. A vehicle in direct sunlight will become very hot. Open all windows to ensure a steady flow of fresh air. You should carry an adequate supply of drinking water during shift work, and wear cool loose-fitting clothing while working in the heat.Anchor: #i1007875
Working in Inclement Weather
Traffic counters should avoid working in severe conditions such as icy roads, blizzards, etc. Besides the personal safety threat, traffic conditions in such weather will not reflect accurate traffic flows. If you find weather conditions threatening your physical safety or influencing traffic flows, check with your supervisor to determine whether to leave the counting site.
Tornados While Working Outdoors If you are working outside when a tornado threatens, first seek shelter inside a sturdy building. Otherwise, lie flat and face down in the lowest depression available, protecting the back of the head with arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as possible; they may be blown onto you.
Tornados While Driving If you are driving when a tornado threatens, remember that vehicles are extremely dangerous in a tornado. Only if a tornado is somewhat far away and traffic is light, should you try to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado.
If a tornado is immediately nearby, park your vehicle as quickly and safely as possible – away from traffic lanes. Get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If in the open country, lie flat and face down in the lowest depression available, protecting the back of the head with arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as possible; they may be blown onto you.
NOTE: Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.Anchor: #i1007911
Compromised Condition of Counter
Fatigue Traffic counters must not work on the roadway when mentally or physically fatigued. These conditions greatly increase the potential for errors that could result in hazardous situations.Anchor: #i1007922
Earphones The following are prohibited while conducting vehicle classification counts:
- Bluetooth devices
Loud Music Listening to excessively loud music during traffic counts as to disturb nearby drivers, homeowners, or businesses is prohibited.
Visual Display Units The following or similar forms of distractions are prohibited while conducting vehicle classification counts:
- DVD player
- personal computer (laptop, notebook, tablet, etc.)
- video game player
If you witness a crime or strongly suspect one is about to occur, call for law enforcement. Do not approach the crime suspect – call 911 instead.
If you are working in a remote area where 911 services are unavailable, call the Department of Public Safety at (800) 525-5555. They can either connect you to a local sheriff’s office or give you the phone number for calling them yourself.Anchor: #i1007996
Traffic counters are encouraged to provide contact information of a family member or friend in the event of an emergency. The following are suggestions for posting this information:
- employee records
- ICE – entering ICE (in case of emergency) into your cell phone