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    Default Traffic advisor (directional) lighting on trucks

    Got into a discussion with one of the safety officers the other day over something I've wondered about, but our dept. doesn't have an SOP on it. Our trucks are equipped with the yellow traffic advisor (directional) lights, which you can use to get traffic to go to one side of the truck or the other. I've noticed some guys drive around with the lights on what I call a "scramble" pattern (random) all the time. I'm thinking people may become too accustomed to the lights on the truck and not realize the truck is stopped and they are using the lights. One person we asked thought there was an NFPA standard on them. What are your experiences and SOP's?

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    There isn't an NFPA standard on them at all. They're not required, nor does NFPA call out how they have to be used.

    I am also in agreement that they should only be used while stationary so the public doesn't become immune to seeing them. Here in our Commonwealth, they can only be used while stationary anyway, so it's kind of a moot point here.
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    PA is the same as VA (must be a Commonwealth thing). They are only to be used when parked. Yes people will get blase about them plus it's a distraction while they're behind you. I try to stress that when I teach EVOC but I notice some drivers go back to old habits after the class is over.
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    I agree with everyone else on this one. People will get used to seeing them then the lights won't do anything for you when you need them.

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    We found that they're not all that useful in general. How often is the choice of directions a motorist can make based on the traffic advisor light? 99.9% of the time we only leave the option we want them to take open. Thus the traffic advisor just becomes another fancy light. And as was noted, more often than not the light is left on the random pattern and not set to direct the traffic anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    We found that they're not all that useful in general. How often is the choice of directions a motorist can make based on the traffic advisor light? 99.9% of the time we only leave the option we want them to take open. Thus the traffic advisor just becomes another fancy light. And as was noted, more often than not the light is left on the random pattern and not set to direct the traffic anyway.
    Well you can say the same for traffic cones. I like to think that by using cones, directional bars, wearing the ANSI vests, and parking the apparatus to protect the scene and personnel you are covering every possible aspect to prevent an accident.

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    I don't see cones and vests in the same light. The purpose of the traffic advisor light is to direct the motorists in given direction, for this I think they're not worth the money. Do they grab the drivers attention? Yep, maybe too much. We park our apparatus at angles when blocking, which diminishes the visibility of the traffic advisor. They are another tool available in the box, but in my view not worth the money. I'd favor less blinky lights and better cones and signage as minimizing lights seems to be the best way to not overly distract motorists.

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    Its a pet peeve of mine when people drive around with the traffic stick or rear beacons on. It looks stupid, serves no purpose, and as you guys have said I think it gets people accustomed to flashing lights. If we aren't going to emergency runs we're just another big truck on the road, no reason to have any flashing lights going.

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    We don't have an SOG/SOP, it's kind of left to the discretion of the driver. Me personally, I use a pattern that alternates from the outside bulbs to the inside and back and forth (Flash) while responding. When I get on-scene, I'll either switch to a left or right direction, or put a (Center) mode where the lights flash from the middle out. This is kind of an interesting topic as we have no SOG's on the light stick usage. I've gone with the rational that lighting the stick up makes our apparatus more visible from the rear (we get a lot of drivers that are oblivious to the lights and sirens, as probably in other places too) when running emergent.

    My biggest priority as a driver is staging the vehicle to protect my crew, and placing cones, signs, and etc. to hopefully get the drivers' attention. When manpower permits, I'll also assume a traffic director, watch-out guide position to keep an eye on traffic. I've had a few close calls on roadways and Interstate highways.

    This is just my two cents. Thanks for the insight into this topic. I've been wondering fo awhile about it stuff like this.

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