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Guidelines for Traffic Delineators

Traffic delineators are a useful tool to help guide motorists as they navigate confusing sections of the roadway.  The use of delineators is allowed on any public roads that pose a potential problem to drivers due to the shape of the road itself or the way that the road intersects with a bridge or exit ramp.  Traffic delineators are particularly useful in places where darkness or snow may impede the driver’s ability to see the edges of the road.

When installing traffic delineators, road managers must follow certain guidelines.  Some of these guidelines affect the design of the delineator itself, while others affect its application.  For instance, all delineators must have a retro-reflective strip at least three inches wide. In addition, the color of the delineator must match the color of the stripe line, which is mandated by the law in that area.  The back of a reflective delineator, however, may be red if it is only going to be viewed by traffic that is approaching from the opposite direction.

In most cases, there must be a single delineator installed on the right side of the freeway and on one side of the interchange ramp.  However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as in places where the pavement is raised, where lighting is installed at all interchanges, or in cases where other conditions have been met.  Private property owners may request that delineators are installed where their entrance meets the public road.  In these cases, at least three delineators must be installed.  However, the owner is responsible for the installation of the posts and their upkeep.  Traffic delineators may be used on highways that require the constant demarcation of the roadway on both sides for traffic separation.

This is only a brief look at the guidelines that surround the design and application of traffic delineators.  To determine which guidelines govern your particular roadways, you may wish to contact your state Department of Transportation; they can give you comprehensive explanations of the ideas mentioned here.