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Chapter 3


The principles discussed here are generally applicable in peacetime and in combat, with only necessary changes required in specific situations.


Checkpoints are used to:

Insure proper use of routes.

Check vehicles for safety deficiencies.

Prevent illegal removal of government property.

Enforce post regulations and drivers license requirements.

Prevent unlawful entry onto the installation.

Check validity of orders, passes, off-post dispatches and identification cards.

Seize contraband and identify DWI suspects.


A checkpoint should be hidden from distant view to prevent approaching vehicles from taking evasive action. However, it should not be positioned so that it is a sudden surprise to motorists. A driver should have time to see the checkpoint and stop safely.

There should be an area available where vehicles can be moved off the main roadway.

Immediate approach lanes should be outlined with traffic cones, stakes, engineer tape, instructional signs, etc.

A barrier, such as a wooden pole or gate should be used to stop vehicles from leaving the checkpoint area until allowed to do so.

A patrol vehicle should be available to pursue motorists who fail to stop at the checkpoint or attempt to evade it.

Selection of subjects must not be arbitrary--select every, every other, every fifth car, etc.

The general public should be informed that checkpoints are used on a random selection basis. This will encourage voluntary compliance. The exact location is never given.

MPs should be alert for new ways to evade the checkpoint or to conceal items.


Roadblocks are used to seal off areas in which a crime has been committed or to apprehend violators. They are also used to seal off access to roads. This is often necessary when special events are to take place, such as parades or training demonstrations.


Conduct prior reconnaissance of the road network to determine where roadblocks should be located to effectively seal off the area. The desk sergeant should be given this information, so he can take immediate action if necessary.

Select roadblock locations that provide cover for the MPs when possible.

Select locations that minimize possible danger to bystanders.

Obtain equipment to warn people of the roadblocks (public address sets and loudspeakers). Emplace traffic cones, flares and signs.

Use other equipment as needed, such as additional vehicles, barricades, engineer tape, rope, cable, etc.

Channel traffic passing the roadblock. On two-lane roads this can be done by parking patrol vehicles at 45-degree angles on each side of the road, partially blocking traffic. The vehicles should be 15 to 25 yards apart (13 to 21 meters); and should be used. On multilane roads, all traffic should be forced into one lane of traffic.

A patrol vehicle should be ready to pursue a motorist who runs the roadblock.

If searches or interrogations are anticipated, there should be an area for vehicles to be pulled over. If a search is to be conducted, all MPs must know precisely what they are looking for.

Attention to barricading the roadway shoulders or ditches should be considered if it is possible to drive through these.

Administrative Dismount Points

Administrative dismount points are areas established where personnel are required to dismount from their vehicles and proceed on foot. Only preselected and designated vehicles are permitted to proceed beyond the dismount point.

When and Where

These dismount points are most commonly seen at special events such as parades, ceremonies and briefings.


One function of administrative dismount points is to direct traffic in and out of designated areas. Another is to insure that all vehicles park in specified areas. They also prevent unauthorized persons from entering restricted areas.


To operate a successful dismount point, first survey the proposed location. Can it stop the traffic flow near the desired location? Is it relatively near the final destination of personnel?

You should also establish a distinct parking area to include entrance(s); exit(s), and directional signs.

Provide sufficient personnel to control the traffic flow.

Remember to brief Military Police so they may provide information.

Detour Sites

On an installation, traffic control at detour or construction sites may be required to avoid motorist confusion and congestion. Operation is the same as for a defile operation in a tactical environment. Normally, the organization doing the work at a site will provide its own control personnel. MPs advise and/or assist them, particularly during periods of heavy traffic.


To operate a detour site, follow these guidelines:

  • Route traffic to the right side of the road when possible.
  • Separate heavy traffic such as trucks from passenger cars if the roadnet is limited or if bridges are restricted..
  • Reduce speed limits.
  • Actively supervise traffic flow to prevent the tendency of drivers to bunch up, which often causes rear end collisions.
  • Identify and mark alternate and by-pass routes well in advance, so vehicle operators can avoid the detour area.
  • Use one-way traffic if no by-pass is possible. Several methods of control are available. The most common are covered next.
  • Methods of Control

    Flags The MP at one entrance to the detour gives a flag to the last vehicle operator in a group entering the detour, with instructions to return it to the MP at the other end. When this occurs, the other MP allows a new group of vehicles to enter and repeats the process.

    MP Rider This is the same as the flag method, except that an MP rides in the last vehicle of each group continually repeating the process.

    Trail Vehicle In this method a patrol vehicle follows each group and the operation is the same as above.

    Lead Vehicle This method is operated the same also, except the patrol vehicle leads each group. This is effective when the detour is long or confusing. The MP acts as a guide.

    Turnout A turnout is a side area of the road where a group of vehicles can turn off the road and allow another group to pass. If a detour is long, the use of a turnout allows vehicles to enter the area the same time from each end. The first group to reach the turnout pulls into it and waits. The second group passes in the opposite direction and then the first group may start again. This method requires that control personnel be stationed at both ends. A common problem is that vehicle breakdowns may occur on the travelled road, disrupting traffic flow.


    Parking control is necessary to avoid unnecessary congestion, abuse and accident hazards. Indicators of a parking problem include:

    Excessive, illegal or overtime parking.

    Excessive cruising to find parking space.

    Extensive congestion in traffic flow near parking lots.

    Parking in excess of 400 feet (120 meters) from a desired location.

    Permanent parking facilities are developed as an integral part of the installation traffic and building plan.

    Temporary parking may be required for special events. When selecting a site for temporary parking, you should follow these steps:

  • Determine the time which the area till be needed.
  • Determine the estimated turnover rate of vehicles.
  • Survey the area to be used and mark off all areas within it which must be avoided, such as holes or rocky areas.
  • Mark out the area to be used with signs or engineer tape.
  • Establish clearly defined entrance/exit locations, preferably ones that border on secondary roads so congestion on primary roads is avoided.
  • Determine what type of parking is to be used, such as head-in or 45-degree angle.
  • Determine the areas to be set aside for designated persons and VIPs.
  • Insure traffic flow within the lot is well defined. Use signs, tape and chalk. (See Parking Studies for a detailed explanation of lot types.)
  • Insure the surfaces of parking areas will accommodate vehicular traffic in the event of inclement weather. Coordinate with engineer personnel.
  • There are several general rules which improve parking procedures and areas. These are listed next for your planning and operational consideration. They are not firm or absolute, and adjustments may be necessary in any situation:

    Ideally, no vehicle should be allowed to park on roadways as these are for movement. This is especially important on primary roads and in service or headquarters areas.

    If on-street parking is allowed, it should be parallel parking, not angle parking. On-street parking should only be allowed on lightly travelled roadways.

    On-street parking must be prohibited near intersections. Parking should be prohibited 50 feet (15 meters) from crosswalks in each direction and at least 30 feet (9 meters) from stop signs. If 15 percent or more of the vehicles entering an intersection are making left turns, parking should be prohibited at least 150 feet (45 meters) from the intersection.

    Parking lots should have a minimum of clearly designated entrances and exits. Too many entrances or exits lead to congestion. They should adjoin secondary streets, if possible, not primary roadways. They should never be placed near intersections.

    When planning parking lots, the flow of pedestrians inside the lot should not conflict with the main flow of vehicles.

    Angle parking is more convenient to the driver than head-in parking, however, it requires greater control measures. The required circulation pattern must be one-way and clearly marked.

    Parking lots should have a "reservoir space" immediately inside the exit area. It should be an area of 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters) in which no parking is allowed. This allows for uncontested build-up of vehicles leaving the parking lot.

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