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Law Enforcement Officers for Work Zone Safety

Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) can be a valuable resource in work zones.  They can:

  • Provide conspicuity, alerting motorists to changing conditions.
  • Assist with the safe, efficient and orderly movement of traffic.
  • Enhance worker safety during construction activities.
  • Monitor traffic operations in work zones.
  • Mitigate the highest safety risk operations occurring.

Experience has shown that LEO’s, engaged to provide appropriate and safe mobility through the work zone, can improve the safety of the work zones for all stakeholders – motorists and workers; however, experience has also shown that LEO’s who are not fully trained or engaged in Work Zone Operations can be detrimental to Work Zones.

Work zones are dynamic.  Conditions change rapidly and a LEO must be able to quickly discern whether they should protect the queue, protect the work area, or in some instances act in an enforcement capacity.  The role of a LEO can change as quickly as conditions change in the work zone.  Recognizing that working as a LEO in a Work Zone is a complicated task that demands trained and engaged law enforcement personnel who can quickly assess changing conditions and act with confidence, INDOT Construction Management and Traffic Management have partnered with the Indiana State Police (ISP) to provide guidance and training to LEO’s.

The use of LEO’s in Work Zones is regulated in INDOT Construction Contracts by INDOT Recurring Special Provision (RSP) 801-R-672.  This RSP provides direction concerning a Contractor’s use of LEO’s in their work zones.  Construction Management, Traffic Management, and ISP have partnered to create Instructions and Procedures for LEO’s working in Work Zones to supplement RSP 801-R-672.  These instructions and procedures detail what is expected of the LEO working in INDOT work zones and they include an affirmation that the LEO has completed the requisite training and will comply with the Instructions and Procedures provided.

Before a LEO can work in an INDOT Work Zone, they must be fully trained, affirm their training in writing, and obtain verification of training from the Project Engineer / Project Supervisor assigned to the contract.  Records for this this training affirmation and verification shall be kept on-file with the contract records and should be retained by the LEO as well.

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