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TRAFFIC CONTROL

   Chittenden County Sheriff’s Deputies are trained in the direction and control of motor vehicle traffic under difficult and often dangerous circumstances.  Our Deputies have legal authority under Title 23 of the Vermont statutes to “direct and control traffic in places of congestion”, as any police officer does.  In addition to our statutory powers to direct traffic, Chittenden County Deputy Sheriffs receive additional training and familiarity with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). This enables Deputies to examine and inspect traffic control packages, such as signs, cones, barrels, signboards, and speed reduction zones to determine if they are in compliance with our own safety procedures.

Deputy Sheriffs who direct traffic are equipped with either fully marked or semi-marked police vehicles, featuring LED or strobe blue lights, which are generally flashing throughout the Deputy’s shift on a public highway.  In some instances, the Deputy Sheriff is requested by the on-site engineer to merely stay in the cruiser and oversee the safe travel of the motoring public through a speed reduction zone.  In these cases, we operate police laser guns (LIDAR) or Doppler traffic radar units to monitor vehicle speeds.

Our Deputies issue traffic tickets, known as Vermont Civil Violation Complaints, if a serious violation of Vermont law is observed in a construction zone.  In cases of a D.U.I. or a criminal Driving After Suspension, our officers make arrests and tow the vehicle from the highway.  We strive to make all our work zones safe and accident free.

Our Deputies are equipped with flashlights and always wear ANSI-approved lime green or orange traffic safety vests when directing traffic, to enhance their safety and visibility.  They are authorized to wear either ball caps or their wide-brimmed campaign hats to ward off the sun’s rays when directing traffic.

Please slow down when approaching a cruiser with flashing blue lights inside a construction zone.  Flashing lights indicate an emergency or potentially dangerous situation ahead, and drivers should reduce their speed accordingly.  A speed limit of 55 or 65 m.p.h. on an Interstate highway merely means that is the maximum allowable speed limit under ideal conditions.

Title 23, Section 1081 of the Vermont statutes mandates that a motorist slow down to an appropriate, reduced speed in any situation where a special hazard exists.  This includes construction zones, road obstructions, and bad weather.  Even though a driver may technically be traveling below the posted speed limit, they may still be ticketed under the Too Fast For Existing Conditions law, as 23 VSA 1081 is known.

If you have any questions related to a construction zone where Chittenden County Deputy Sheriffs are posted, please contact our office at (802) 863-4341 or e-mail us at:

Captain Michael Major