What is an Automated Flagger?


An automated flagger assistance device (AFAD) is a form of temporary traffic control. Automated flagger assistance devices are commonly used in single-lane closures. AFAD traffic control devices are highly visible and include bold signage, and an automated gate-arm.

They are intended for daily, short-term lane closures in areas such as bridgework or pavement patching. Automated flaggers are designed to be operated by one individual remotely, keeping personnel safely off the road and out of harm’s way.

In addition to being a commanding presence on the roadway, AFADs are easy to transport and deploy. Using a pickup truck, two units can easily be towed at the same time, and setup can be completed in 12 minutes or less. They are the safest alternative to human flaggers for temporary, short-term work-zone traffic control

According to the Minnesota DPS Office of Traffic Safety, more than 39,000 crashes were distracted driving-related from 2016-2020. This means that distracted driving has contributed to an average of one in nine crashes in MN during that time frame.

In a typical work zone, an individual holding a flag is placed at each end of the area under construction. These employees work together using 2-way radios and hand signals to direct the flow of traffic. While this form of traffic control has been used for many years, it has become increasingly dangerous for workers to be placed in the roadway. In fact, work zones that employ human flaggers are now considered a hazardous workplace environment.

Now, more than ever, it is time to focus on employee safety. Auto flagging devices can be placed in the roadway instead of their human counterparts. One unit is placed at each end of the work area and two units can be controlled remotely by one operator. By having the ability to control the AFAD remotely, the employee can be positioned at a safe distance from moving traffic and well away from the roadway. For additional safety, auto flaggers can be furnished with optional equipment such as high-definition video recording and monitoring as well as an intrusion alarm to alert workers of an errant vehicle.

Combat the Skilled Labor Shortage

It’s no secret that finding well-qualified applicants has been a challenge for employers everywhere. The skilled labor shortage plaguing the construction industry means smart solutions are required in order to meet daily business demands. Automated flagger assistance devices are able to do the job of two employees while only requiring a single operator. Though operators still require training in manual flagging operations, using automated flaggers require half the manpower of traditional flagging operations. Plus, AFAD traffic control devices won’t call in sick or ever require overtime pay!

Smart Work Zones

Street Smart is the leader in providing Smart Work Zone solutions across North America. We work with traffic control companies to provide traffic safety equipment and more efficient work zones. We offer automated flagger assistance devices for rent or purchase in any quantity. Our nationwide rental includes 24/7 service and we will deliver anywhere, right to your door!

Need additional traffic control equipment? Read about Portable Traffic Signals

Automated Flagging Assistance Device (AFAD) - Street Smart Rental Product Overview | Rent or Buy