A traffic break is carried out to separate the flow of highway traffic. It’s performed by highway patrol officers to minimize the dangers on the highway.
But what should you do in a traffic break in case you come across one?
At some point, you have come across a highway patrol vehicle or a motorbike swerving side to side on the highway lanes preventing you and other motorists from passing. It’s an alarming situation.
However, traffic breaks or rolling roadblocks in other terms are carried out to protect motorists from the dangers ahead of the road.
In all cases, you’ll notice the patrol vehicle with emergency lights on and the siren activated.
Mostly, the car swerves back and forth, making zigzag motions across the highway lanes to ensure they get the attention of all the drivers.
Later, as all vehicles slow, the patrol car may come to a stop, blocking the traffic.
The Purpose of the Traffic Break
As earlier stated, traffic break is carried out by the highway patrol officers to control various dangers noted ahead of the traffic. Examples are;
- A luggage has fallen from a car’s trunk, and the officers want to take it out of the road.
- There are road works taking place ahead.
- An accident where the vehicles involved need to be towed and debris cleared from the road.
- To break severe traffic, especially near the major intersections
- A stalling vehicle being pulled out of the highway.
- Snow ahead causing driving hazards.
- To clear the highway for police to chase hit and run and other unlawful drivers.
- A landslide or road sinking ahead.
- An airplane making an emergency landing on the highway.
Due to all these dangers that may arise, a traffic break is carried out to protect the motorists, construction workers, and the people clearing the dangerous scene.
How Traffic Break Works
- First, a police officer arrives at the accident or any danger posing scene.
- They alert fellow officers along the highway.
- A patrol vehicle is used to control traffic a distance from the scene.
- After getting ahead of the other vehicles, the patrol car is turned on the emergency lights, and the siren is activated.
- The car controls the traffic until all vehicles slows and eventually stop.
- The patrol officers communicate until the right time to allow the traffic to flow.
Note that the speed, distance to be covered, and the duration of the traffic break is based on the time needed to clear the scene.
What Should You Do in a Traffic Break?
You’ll experience traffic breaks on the highway as a driver, most likely daily. Because many drivers get into confusion wondering how to act about the situation, I’ll share with you some helpful tips;
- Slow down
- Activate your car hazard lights
- Don’t pass the patrol car.
- Keep with their speed as you maintain a safe distance.
- Stay calm
- Follow instructions
1. Slow Down
Slow down whenever you notice a patrol car or a traffic police motorbike swerving across the highway lanes with emergency lights on. There is a possibility of a driving hazard ahead.
2. Activate Your Car Hazard Lights
If you activate your car hazard lights, you help the patrol officers to alert the motorist at your back. It will help to control the situation faster.
3. Don’t Overtake the Patrol Car
Once you learn the patrol car or bike controls the traffic, don’t try to accelerate and go ahead of them. You may head to the accident scene and endanger more lives. Additionally, passing the police car in this situation is a traffic offense.
4. Keep With Their Speed as You Maintain Safe Distance
Upon noticing the patrol car swerving, release the accelerator and don’t apply emergency brakes. Keep with the speed of the car but at a safe distance. As the patrol car reduces the speed, you’ll all come to a stop safely.
5. Stay Calm
Unless you are an unlawful driver being chased, you shouldn’t panic. Keep calm until the traffic officers are through with their operations.
6. Follow the Instructions
After the traffic comes to a stop, the patrol officers may direct you to the safest lane or a road diversion. Follow the instructions and drive at a slower speed.
Read Also: How to survive a car crash as a passenger
What to Do if Traffic Break Starts Behind You
- Look ahead of the highway as far as possible to check if there is an accident.
- Maintain your speed but keep a safe distance from the traffic ahead until you’re aware of what’s happening.
- If you come near an accident scene, slow down and stop.
Note, you may be the last motorist the officers want to pass before they begin their operation. However, stay alert in case there are further directions by the patrol team.
FAQs about Traffic Breaks
How much is Traffic Violation Ticket?
Traffic violation ticket charges may vary depending on your country. You’ll note different costs for various offenses in all countries traffic charges. For instance, over speeding charges may vary depending on the speed you exceeded from the legally set speed. To learn the traffic violation ticket charges, check with your country’s traffic department.
Does Traffic Fine Go on Criminal Records?
A traffic violation ticket is not recorded as a criminal record. All minor traffic offenses are classified as civil citations. As such, speeding and other infractions will not show up on criminal history if a background search is conducted.
What is the Most Common Traffic Violation?
According to research, speeding is the most common traffic violation. It accounts for 60% of all other traffic offenses. You may be in a hurry to get to your destination only to find yourself captured by the speed cameras.
2. Distracted Driving
Some drivers get involved in distractions like driving while using a mobile phone, eating, or interacting with other people in the vehicle.
3. Alcohol or Drug Influence
Driving under alcohol or drug influence is the most common crime observed on roads. It’s illegal to drive after using any mind-altering substance or drug.