In 2008 the Executive Offices of Transportation and Public Safety were granted the authority to draft new regulations for the use of civilian flaggers at roadside construction projects. The regulations call for the use of civilian flaggers at construction projects on state roads where the speed limit does not exceed 45 mph or, if the speed limit does exceed 45 mph, when the construction is separated from the traffic flow by continuous barriers.
The regulations, however, leave it up to cities and towns as to whether they will adopt the measure on local roads. The State has also chosen to pay flaggers the prevailing wage rather than what crossing guards make. Both of these decisions have, to some extent, mitigated the savings that might otherwise be achieved from switching from paid police details to civilian flaggers.
Nevertheless, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation estimates that the percentage of the average project's cost the state has dedicated to traffic control since the new regulations were implemented has dropped from 4.38% to 3.44%, which comes out to approximately $12 million in savings.
Despite these savings, there have been, and continue to be, legislative attempts to reduce the regulatory threshold for which projects are required to use paid police details. And too many cities and towns have refused to adopt the regulations on local roads.
We need your help to ensure that the Legislature does not back track on this issue and to help encourage municipal leaders to implement the regulations locally.
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