When you’re stopped by road work, you’re used to a person with a sign or flag telling you when to go and when to stop.
Several drivers in York are coming across new, automatic flagging systems equipped with lights, alarms, and a motor-powered arm. The units are controlled by flaggers with a tablet.
“There’s going to be a tremendous amount of technology that people are going to be seeing that is pretty much space-age type stuff,“ said David Gemmill, of DE Gemmill, Inc.
The flaggers‘ tablet monitors four different cameras. Each unit has two cameras to watch traffic at each end of the construction site and record video in case of an accident.
“We are trying to increase the safety of the work zone and the safety of the people that work in the work zone,“ said Gemmill.
Pennsylvania is one of at least 20 states that have approved the use of the new systems. Many are concerned it will take away jobs, but developers say that is not the case.
“We honestly think that’s not going to affect those positions because of the shortage of people, and we think that anyone that’s willing to embrace the technology and learn is going to have a great secure job,“ said Gemmill.
Flaggers we spoke to say that have already started using the device say they appreciate being able to do their jobs while staying off the road.
“I do like it because it does remove me from the flow of traffic,“ said Eric Buckingham, a flagger.