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5 Guidelines for Using Reflective Traffic Posts

Reflective traffic posts offer unique advantages over other types of bollards. However, their overuse can actually contribute to higher accident rates. To be used effectively, they must follow the following established guidelines:

1.     Reflective traffic posts work best in rural areas to alert drivers to unusual conditions like construction zones, crosswalks, and sharp turns. They're especially helpful when the motorist is approaching a stop sign concealed by a hill, brush or other visual obstruction.

2.     Reflective traffic posts are less effective in urban areas, especially when several are used in a compact geographical location. Drivers become used to seeing these notices, making them less likely to command attention.

3.     Reflective traffic posts can be especially helpful in places that are especially dark at night. They stand out well against the surrounding blackness, maximizing the odds that approaching drivers will notice them.

4.     Reflective traffic posts are ideal for temporary use, as they're less effective when used permanently.

5.     Reflective traffic posts should be designed to "bend, rather than break," whenever possible. This will prevent damage to errant vehicles and injury to their occupants. Of course, this is not always practical, especially in high-security areas like around police buildings, government facilities, and military installations.

Options for Using Reflective Traffic Posts

·      Officials often use traffic posts colored in bright orange, yellow, or a combination of the two hues to enhance their visual prominence.

·      Reflective posts can be joined together by rope or chain to control access to sensitive areas.

·      Portable posts can be used on an as-needed basis during critical periods, such as factory shift changes, on Sunday mornings after worship services, and school opening and closing times.


Reflective traffic posts are like any other item in the public safety official's toolkit. When used according to the guidelines, they serve to prevent injuries, accidents, and criminal activity.