The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Chapter 2

And Planning


Supervision of traffic operations is a responsibility shared by individual MPs, patrol supervisors, desk sergeants, MP duty officers (MPDOs) and the provost marshal (PM). All personnel involved in traffic operations must accomplish the following:

  • Evaluate traffic plans efficiency and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Maintain safe and efficient flow of traffic along roadways.
  • Recognize and correct traffic problems.
  • Provide security and safety requirements at traffic accident scenes.
  • Prepare and review traffic accident reports.
  • Perform traffic law enforcement activities.
  • The MP supervisor acts as a coordinator of all traffic activities during a given time. Teamwork among all on-duty MPs is imperative. In areas where there are not adequate standing policies, the supervisor must provide guidance on the spot. This guidance may be needed in the following situations:

    Fixed traffic points

    Construction sites

    Detour sites

    Accident scenes

    Special events

    Escort duties

    Disaster operations.


    The following principles of traffic planning should be considered when establishing traffic control operations.

    Functional Areas

    Such areas on an installation may include the headquarters, residential, barracks and commercial areas. The following actions will insure their integrity:

  • Concentrate traffic on a minimum number of well-defined, easily controlled routes.
  • Direct traffic around--not through--functional areas.
  • Attempt to have separate routes leading to different functional areas.
  • Establish direct routes for heavy traffic from off post to locations on post.
  • Traffic Load

    Traffic on roadways should be reduced to avoid congestion. Some proven techniques are:

  • Stagger work hours with minimum 15-minute time separation.
  • Encourage use of car pools. Improve and encourage use of public transportation.
  • Restrict the volume of vehicles, if necessary.
  • Primary Circulation System

    The traffic plan should establish major routes to bear most of the traffic load. Primary routes should pass around the borders of functional areas to preserve area integrity. Interconnecting routes should also skirt the boundaries of major areas. To discourage unnecessary use of roads in troop or residential areas, make the roads circuitous or dead end. One-way roads reduce accidents.

    One-Way Reversible Roads

    One-way roads may improve traffic flow, especially if reversible--one-way in for mornings and one-way out for afternoon. Narrow roads can carry a greater volume of one-way traffic than two-way. One-way roads help reduce congestion at intersections where there are many left hand turns or accidents. Temporary one-way roads during morning and evening rush hours may reduce congestion and increase traffic flow. Eliminating curb parking on two-way roads may eliminate the need to establish one-way roads.

    Speed Zones

    Speed zones should be determined by the areas the road passes through. Consider the following criteria before setting speed limits:

    • Each speed limit should safely handle traffic, allowing for sufficient stopping distance between hazards.
    • Maximum speeds should follow the 85th percentile rule, and minimum speeds should follow the 15th percentile rule (see Speed Studies, Chapter 22).
    • Reasonable speed limits encourage driver compliance.
    • Adopt the Uniform Vehicle Code 30 mph speed or the state assimilated speed for urban type roadways.
    • Unnecessarily restrictive speeds may be ignored by drivers, requiring greater and unnecessary enforcement efforts.

    Safety Measures

    Reviews of traffic studies, patrol reports, and accident investigations may lead to recommendations for improving traffic safety. Such recommendations include:

  • Install traffic control devices at intersections, curves, hills, etc.
  • Improve street lighting.
  • Improve information and education programs directed at drivers.
  • Improve parking capabilities (off-street parking is better than on-street parking).
  • Improve pedestrian controls by installing traffic signals, fences and islands.
  • Repair signs and signals and repaint pavement markings.
  • Install force arrestors (such as water bumpers, metal drums with sand or water ballast).
  • Special Events

    Special events often generate heavy traffic volume. Traffic control is possible with planning based on the following considerations:

    Routes to the event should be direct.

    Main routes should terminate at parking areas.

    Special routes should be marked for emergency vehicles and operators briefed on these routes.

    A special traffic plan should be publicized through the installation bulletin and leaflets.

    Normal traffic should be detoured around the area.

    Directions and guide signs should be used extensively.


    MP planning support to local police during disasters should consider the following:

  • Establish primary route for vehicles aiding evacuation, recovery and reestablishment of disaster areas.
  • Establish information points at main entry routes to the disaster area.
  • Prohibit unnecessary traffic (onlookers).
  • Direct normal and unnecessary traffic around the disaster area.
  • Establish a communications net.
  • Military Police must be concerned with provisions of the Posse Comitatus Act during off-post disaster operations. Consult your local staff judge advocate office for details.

    Join the mailing list