635.2 MANUAL TRAFFIC DIRECTION AND CONTROL
I. PURPOSE: This directive outlines a uniform procedure for the manual direction
and control of traffic. Refer also to other traffic procedures contained in the 635
series of directives.
II. DISCUSSION: The manual direction and control of traffic is an everyday concern
of the police department. Whether a hazardous situation (accident, weather, or
road conditions), or specific event (parades, sporting events), the officer should
utilize departmentally approved techniques for the direction and control of traffic.
A. Intersections: The officer shall position himself in the intersection where
he can best observe conditions and be most visible to the motorists and
B. Hand and arm controls:
1. Stop: The arm is extended at shoulder level with the palm and
fingers pointing upward.
2. Go (forward): A waving motion across the chest indicating
direction of travel.
3. Turns: The arm and hand is pointed at the line of traffic to be
turned, and then use a pointing motion in the direction the traffic is
to be turned.
4. Pedestrians: When directing pedestrians, the officer must first
control the vehicular traffic. Pedestrian traffic shall be coordinated
into the traffic pattern, when applicable. Pedestrians should walk
from corner to corner in the same direction that traffic is flowing.
5. The officer shall utilize a whistle when directing traffic.
a. One loud, sharp whistle indicates “stop.”
b. Two quick blows indicate “go.”
C. Manual Control Devices: Such devices are generally found inside traffic
control boxes located on the corners of intersections. A control-box key
may be obtained from the traffic signal truck operator.
1. Finger Press Device (pickle): Changes the signal by activating the
button located on the end of the device.
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2. Manual/Automatic Switch (toggle): Switch to “manual” when the
traffic control signal is in the desired phase. The signal will
remain in this phase until the toggle switch is returned to
3. Computer controlled intersections shall not be operated manually.
The truck signal operator shall be notified.
D. Hazardous situations:
1. To enhance officer safety and driver recognition, especially under
adverse conditions, the uniform hat shall be worn while directing
2. The officer’s badge shall be worn on the outermost garment.
3. Department issue reflective vests will be worn by officers
conducting traffic control. Traffic wands are available for use and
may be obtained from the property room.
4. Flares and temporary traffic control devices may be utilized as
Supersedes SOP 635.2, dated 1/99.
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