We are the future of traffic control

MoTH Manual

Image of MoTH Manual 6002 253x300 MoTH Manual
The main reference for traffic control in British Columbia is the “Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways” published by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways (MoTH). Amongst TCP’s it is refered to simply as the Traffic Control Manual or the MoTH Manual. This document was published in 1999 and it attempts to set out the rules for controlling traffic around work sites on highways. It actually has a wider application since it applies to special events, movie shoots, any happening on a roadway that will affect traffic. This is a tall order for any publication and it cannot possibly cover every scenario but it lays down the general principles to be applied.

The Government Ministry that published this book is the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. At the time of publication it was known as the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and that is the name that has stuck to this work. It is the MoTH Manual and not MoTI. Don’t get confused by this: it’s the same Ministry. The Ministry website is here. The Ministry also maintains a website directed to just traffic control. The Traffic Control and Training website is here.

If you are involved in traffic control to any degree at all you should be familiar with thia Manual. We have it here broken into section for ease of downloading. If you know what you are after it is easier to go straight to that section. The table below sets out what each part contains and has a link to each part.

Contents Spacer 1 MoTH Manual This is pretty much what it says. If you are new to the manual and are not sure where to look, start here.
Chapter 1 This is the General Instructions which cover the theory of Traffic Control.
Chapter 2 In this Chapter traffic control devices such as signs, cones, delineators, barries and the like are discussed.
Chapter 3 Here the Manual deals with “Short Duration Work Zones” which generally means less than a day and
no equipment left on the road overnight.
Chapter 4 This is “Long Duration Work Zones” which generally means longer than one day with the setup left in place over night.
Chapter 5 This Chapter is for “Freeway” traffic control which is generally a divided highway.
Appendicies This is the catchall Chapter where you find such things as Pavement Marking and Avalanch Control.

Although, technically it was intended to apply to Provincial highways, it has been adopted by WorkSafe BC as the standard for protecting workers on the highway and is essentially the law on the subject in British Columbia. This can be found in Part 18 of the WorkSafe BC Regulations:

“18.3 Standards for Traffic Control
Traffic control equipment, arrangements and procedures must meet the requirements of the latest
edition of the Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways (the “Traffic Control Manual”) issued by
the Ministry of Transportation, unless otherwise specified by this Regulation.”

This statement in 18.3 makes the MoTH Manual the rule book for traffic control around work sites. It is actually cast wider than that because it says “Traffic control procedures in British Columbia” and does not say anyhting about worksites. So the Manual has very wide application.

In the first chapter, paragraph 1.1, says that “the traffic control described and illustrated herein is genrally the minimum required …… there may be circumstances where strict compliance with such requirements is not reasonable and it will be necessary to deviate from the requirements … it is understood that in emergency situations it may not be possible to meet these minimum standards”. This is where experience comes in. When all is said and done, you have to have well trained flaggers to judge the work site and adapt the Manual to fit the circumstance. The Manual is a guide, but it is not a substitute for experience on the road.

It is not the only source for traffic control rules that you will run into, but it is the essential starting point.