MAKE WAY FOR MACHINES
A new novelty is nearing Nova Scotia: automated flagging machines are about to become commonplace tools at construction sites. In a statement made by Public Works Minister Kim Masland, she announced the deployment will be made with the intention of achieving better roadside safety for construction workers at construction sites.
The machines–which will be designed with a flag as well as a red and yellow light–will be required to follow specific regulations. Such regulations will include the machines not operating on 100-series highways, being restricted to 80 km/h roads, and being reserved for roads with relatively low traffic volume (200 vehicles or less per hour).
Like a human flagger, the machines will regulate traffic flow using the flag and lights that they will be equipped with. When the yellow light flashes, drivers will be expected to proceed with caution, a solid yellow light will instruct drivers to prepare to halt, and a red light will show drivers to come to a complete stop. With the adoption of these machines, Masland stressed that the intention is not to replace existing human workers or supplant human jobs. Instead, “these machines will allow flagging crews to stay further off the roads and thus do their jobs in a safer manner.”
The number of devices deployed to sites will ultimately depend on the decision of contractors who will decide if and when to use the technology. The automated flagging machines will be manufactured by Site 20/20, headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.