Do you know when to use Stop/Go boards?

Remote or manual? Daytime or night? How busy is the traffic? One board or two?

For a simple sign, its not that simple...

Stop/Go boards are the signs with one side saying STOP and the other GO in order to direct traffic accordingly.

They can be manual or remote and can be a straightforward and portable way of directing the traffic during traffic management.

But do you know exactly when and where they can be used according to NRSWA's Signing, Lighting and Guarding Unit 2/10 qualifications? 

Traffic Management

In simple terms traffic management is safely directing vehicles and pedestrians around an ‘disruption’ in the road.

The ‘disruption’ could be anything from works done by a utility company (water/gas/electric), potholes being filled, an accident, a local event to tree trimming.

For larger works sometimes a specialist traffic management team or company will be hired to undertake this tasks, but otherwise the responsibility will fall on those carrying out the works.


For anyone carrying out traffic management on highways and roads (with the exception of  motorways and dual carriageways with a 50mph plus speed limit), there will need to be:

- at least one qualified Operative(NRSWA Unit O1 Signing, lighting and guarding, previously known as Unit 2) carrying out the physical works

- at least one Supervisor(NRSWA Unit S1 Monitor signing, lighting and guarding, previously known as Unit 10), supervising the works.


Remote Stop/Go boards ideally

Where possible remote stop/go boards should be used over manual boards.

Remote boards can be used when all the below is met:

- The distance between Stop/Go is no more than 200 metres
- Use of boards is restricted to daylight hours
- An unobstructed view of both approaches is maintained
- The operative is less than 100 metres from both boards and
- Traffic flow is less than 850 vehicles per hour

If either remote or manual Stop/Go boards are to be used notification must be given to the relevant highway authority.

When you can use manual Stop/Go boards

 Manual boards to be used when:

-  the operator is in a safe place outside of the safety zone
-  you cannot use remote due to length of works for example
-  reason for not using remote boards must be documented
How many boards:

-  if site length is less than 20 metres a single board can be used either at one end or in the middle
-  if two boards are used and the operatives are not in direct sight then radio communication must be used

At nightime:

-  you cannot use remote boards
-  the manual boards must be fully illuminated across the full sign 

Railway crossing:

-  If you need to use Stop/Go boards near or at a railway crossing you must consult your supervisor, manager or other competent person

Further reading

More information on Stop/Go boards and what signage you need to use along side them can be found in the ‘red book’ the  Safety at Street Works and Road Works A Code of Practice:
If you have any questions or need to book your NRSWA Signing, Lighting and Guarding course please call us on 0333 301 0226.