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What do Traffic Controllers Do?

April 11, 2023


Traffic controllers are essential for safe and efficient traffic management and control around construction sites, road works, special events, or during an emergency response.

When traffic and road conditions are altered, roads are considered quite a bit more hazardous compared to standard road and traffic conditions. A traffic control team is well utilised when traffic signals, signage and devices aren’t sufficient enough to control the volume and efficient traffic flow.

 At SSTC, our traffic control team are highly skilled in all areas of traffic management and comes with fully equipped Utes, including two-way radios for succinct communication between the team and workers on site. Regarding effective traffic management and control, SSTC traffic control teams know how to maintain the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and workers and minimise hazards and risks towards vehicle damage.

What is a Traffic Controller, and What Do They Do?

Traffic controllers manually direct the flow of road and pedestrian traffic on, near, or adjacent to roads during a road closure or partial road closure. Road closures may occur because of construction, maintenance or roadside works, public events, or emergency responses. Traffic flow is also directed using signs and devices to ensure the safety of workers, motorists, and pedestrians. To ensure the safety and efficiency of traffic flow, traffic controllers work in accordance with a Traffic Control Plan and Vehicle Route Planning Sydney.

A traffic controller’s core responsibility is to direct the flow of traffic safely and efficiently. Directing traffic isn’t their only responsibility; they are also responsible for setting up signage and safety barriers and cleaning and maintaining signs and equipment. At SSTC, our traffic controllers come with fully equipped Utes, including two-way radios for succinct communication. Traffic controllers also must apply the Traffic Control Plan (TCP), adhere to the vehicle route planning in Sydney as stipulated in the TCP, and perform in accordance with the relevant road authority.

The job of a traffic controller involves more than just holding a stop/slow sign and directing the flow of vehicles and road users on or around roads. It is paramount that traffic controllers ensure the safety of pedestrians, workers, and drivers, as well as help to maintain the safest possible environment around building sites, road works, public events, and emergency responses. Not only does a traffic controller direct the flow of pedestrians and drivers on the road near areas of disruption by operating road signs, such as the stop/slow sign, and using hand signals to direct pedestrians and vehicle traffic appropriately, but they also have maintenance and communication responsibilities.

Some equipment required for safe and effective traffic control is road work signs, cones, bollards, concrete barriers, portable traffic signals, and communication devices, such as two-way radios. Not only is it the responsibility of the traffic control team to set up all required traffic management signage and equipment, but it is also their responsibility to maintain and monitor this equipment and signage.

To ensure the safety of vehicles, workers, and pedestrians, a traffic controller uses a two-way radio to communicate with members of the road traffic team, construction workers, and emergency response teams to send and receive updates about traffic and road conditions. As well as effectively communicating with the surrounding road traffic team and workers, a traffic controller must also follow the guidelines stipulated by building project managers, police officers, administrators, traffic authority workers, auditors, and members of the public. A traffic controller is responsible for educating the public on road rules, operations, traffic conditions, responding to queries, and providing emergency care when needed.

A Traffic Control Plan usually stipulates the responsibilities, requirements and guidelines for traffic controllers. A TCP ensures the safety of traffic controllers, workers, and the general public by analysing all risks and hazards. They require team members to be educated on the appropriate matters. Along with a TCP, a traffic controller also adheres to vehicle route planning in Sydney, which ensures efficient and safe traffic flow that has minimal impact on the surrounding environment and community.

When Are Traffic Controllers Needed?


Roads with closures, changed traffic conditions, during public events, or around worksites can be particularly hazardous compared to a road operating under normal conditions. A traffic controller, or multiple, is used when signs or devices for altered traffic conditions are considered to be insufficient for the safety of all involved, public convenience, or for the efficient control and management of traffic around these conditions.

A traffic controller team is typically required at a worksite, road works, public events, or during an emergency response when the volume or the conditions are inadequate for efficient and safe traffic flow. A traffic controller team during road work is particularly required when carrying out bituminous road surfacing works are being carried out under traffic and when one lane of a two-way two-lane road or bridge is closed unless a traffic signal is in place. While a traffic control team is in place, it is essential for them to be situated at least 30 metres from where the work is being conducted. A traffic control team is particularly needed in a construction worksite when blasting works are being conducted, where the vision of the work being conducted is obscured, and when construction machinery regularly crosses or enters an existing trafficked road. 

A traffic control team may also be required during emergency responses or when signage around works being conducted is not being adhered to, for example, if the conditions of a work site have altered the traffic speed limit and these speed limits are not being adhered to by motorists creating risk for workers and pedestrians. 

A traffic controller is obliged to provide safety to motorists, cyclists, workers, and pedestrians while still maintaining succinct communication and efficient traffic flow with minimal impact on the surrounding environment and community. They ensure that while road and traffic conditions are altered during events, construction work, road work, or emergency responses, all involved remain safe with minimal risk and hazards.

SSTC Provides Traffic Controllers


A traffic controller team can not only ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, workers, and cyclists, but they also ensure efficient traffic flow for minimal impact on the works being conducted, the environment, and the surrounding community. They use succinct communication for the effective management of all traffic and traffic conditions for seamless traffic flow.

At SSTC, our traffic controller team comes with fully equipped Utes holding all the required signage and devices for effective traffic management. Our traffic control teams are highly skilled and well-experienced in traffic signal installation and maintenance, roadway construction traffic control, worksite traffic control, special event traffic control, and emergency response traffic control.

Not only can we provide a highly trained traffic controller team, but we also have a high-qualified in-house team for any permits, plans, and legislation requirements you may need. Our traffic management team specialises in establishing and executing a Traffic Control Plan, Construction Traffic Management Plan, and vehicle route planning in Sydney. These documents ensure the safety and efficiency of traffic management and control around a construction site, road works, special events, or an emergency response.

At SSTC, safety is paramount. Have a look at our Traffic Control Services, Construction Traffic Control, or contact us for more information.  

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