The Idaho Department of Transportation has been offering training classes for flaggers for decades, but a recent addition to the toolbox allows trainers to offer tools specifically geared to a hands-on, visual learner. After years of trying different methods to train flaggers,  District 6 Training Specialist Josh Sprague created a few sets of flagger training props. These include various work zone signs, cones, and figurines. The props are used in conjunction with the flagger training classes and allow attendees to see in-person demonstrations of what’s going on. While the sizes may be small, the distances and sizes are all too scale. Furthermore, this type of training allows for quick feedback from attendees who can set up scenarios of their own and get quick answers. The visual aid allows the attendees and the instructors to better understand the situations being posed.

“The idea came from just trying to make the flagging class better. The class was lacking any real hands-on experience, so those who learn that way were not being served,” he explained. “It is difficult for many to ‘see’ what a traffic-control plan looks like, but the toys give them an opportunity to quickly change between different scenarios and see different problems and solutions.”

It has been a success, Sprague reports.

“I have been using them for just under two years, and the feedback has been great,” he said. “It has been so well received that other trainers have asked for a set.”

And, as is the hope with all ITD innovations, the idea has caught on in other districts as well.

“Not only is District 6 working with them, but they are also being used in Districts 3 and 5, and I just completed a set for District 4 last week,” Sprague explained.  “D4 will be using them for the first time in the next class.”