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White Paper: Major Types of Traffic Panels

Road crews and public safety officials use many kinds of traffic panels in today’s world. Some of the major types include:

  1. Hazard markers: These are used for marking road hazards like low-water crossings, roadway obstructions, low or crumbling shoulders, bridge and guard rail approaches, and anything that might compromise motorists’ safety.
  2. Object markers: These are used to notify drivers they are approaching raised curbs, islands, or other types of permanent obstructions.
  3. K-markers: These serve much the same purpose as object markers.  They alert motorists to the presence of pedestrian refuge islands, crosswalks, raised curbs, or anything that calls for the presence of a type two marker.
  4. Sergeant stripes: These are used to direct drivers around either side of a roadway obstruction.  They’re especially useful for marking impact attenuators or the perimeters of islands.
  5. Vertical panels: These are used to channelize traffic away from road workers or other obstructions, divide opposing lanes, mark lane closures or replace barricades in areas with limited space.  They’re especially useful for alerting motorists to the presence of road alignment or lane shift changes.
  6. Chevron panels: These traffic panels alert drivers to the presence of sharp curves and other changes in road conditions.
  7. Opposing traffic lane dividers: These are used to mark sections of road with temporary opposing lanes.  For example, a four-lane highway may be transformed into two-way lanes for a limited time to give crews the chance to complete road repairs.
  8. Temporary stop signs: These are used during emergency situations like widespread power outages, toxic chemical spills, natural disasters, and other crisis conditions.  They can also be used during road construction, or at intersections that are being tested for a potential traffic light. These traffic panels are easy to install and transport, making them especially useful during rapidly changing conditions.
  9. Portable work sign stands: These special-purpose traffic panels are used to protect road crews from careless, impaired, or inattentive motorists.


Traffic panels serve a vital role in today’s rapidly changing infrastructure environment. Their importance will only increase in years to come.