The Role of a Traffic Officer
purpose of the Traffic Officer Service is to undertake general
traffic and road management tasks thus allowing the police greater
time to concentrate on the protective services, such as tackling
crime, investigating collisions and enforcing the law.
The Traffic Management Act 2004 (England and Wales) has enabled
certain police powers to be transferred to Traffic Officers.
Those powers are to:
- Stop traffic and close roads, lanes and carriageways;
- Direct and divert traffic and pedestrians;
- Place and operate traffic signs;
- Manage traffic at traffic surveys. These involve stopping
vehicles and asking drivers about their journeys. The information
from these surveys is used to develop and plan future investment in
the transport system;
- The removal or arranging removal of abandoned or broken down
vehicles which are causing an obstruction or are a safety hazard on
the network; and
- Authorising exceptions and relaxations for other road users
from the motorway regulations, such as the use of the hard
Traffic Officers do not have enforcement powers and their
vehicles are not classed as emergency vehicles.
The role of the Traffic Officer is to deal with routine
incidents including non injury Road Traffic Collisions (RTC,s) on
the network and to assist the emergency services by dealing with
traffic management at more serious incidents. In order to undertake
these duties Traffic Officers have been permitted to use red and
amber warning lights since 2004. This was authorised under a
special order of the Road Traffic Act 1988, section 44.
The introduction of such a service will endeavor to minimise
disruption to road users by providing a safe and timely response to
incidents in order to manage traffic, assess on site requirements
in terms of debris clearance and infrastructure damage/repairs,
liaise with emergency services where necessary and relieve
congestion as soon as possible.
The Traffic Officers will provide a timely response to incidents
on the network and assume a primary role in the management of
traffic, clearance of incidents and other non criminal