Reflective Requirements for Traffic Cones
The color of traffic cones must be orange. Cones don’t need reflective bands for daytime and low speed applications if they are 18 inches or taller. It must be daylight and the speed limit must be 40 miles per hour or less.
Use an orange cone between 28 and 36 inches in locations where the speed limit is 45 mph or higher. There must be two reflective bands on the cone. The bottom band must be 4′′ height and the upper band 6′′ tall. There must be 2′′ between the two bands.
MUTCD Requirements for Marking Traffic Cones in Fast and Slow Traffic –
Section 6F.64 Traffic Cones
01 Traffic Cones (see Figure 6F-7) shall be predominantly orange and shall be made of a material that can be struck without causing damage to the impacting vehicle. For daytime and low-speed roadways, cones shall be not less than 18 inches in height. When cones are used on freeways and other high-speed highways or at night on all highways, or when more conspicuous guidance is needed, cones shall be a minimum of 28 inches in height.
02 For nighttime use, cones shall be retroreflectorized or equipped with lighting devices for maximum visibility. Retro-reflectorization of cones that are 28 to 36 inches in height shall be provided by a 6-inch wide white band located 3 to 4 inches from the top of the cone and an additional 4-inch wide white band located approximately 2 inches below the 6-inch band.
03 Retroreflectorization of cones that are more than 36 inches in height shall be provided by horizontal, circumferential, alternating orange and white retroreflective stripes that are 4 to 6 inches wide. Each cone shall have a minimum of two orange and two white stripes with the top stripe being orange. Any non-retroreflective spaces between the orange and white stripes shall not exceed 3 inches in width.
04 Traffic cones may be used to channelize road users, divide opposing vehicular traffic lanes, divide lanes when two or more lanes are kept open in the same direction, and delineate short duration maintenance and utility work.
05 Steps should be taken to minimize the possibility of cones being blown over or displaced by wind or moving vehicular traffic.
06 Cones may be doubled up to increase their weight.
07 Some cones are constructed with bases that can be filled with ballast. Others have specially weighted bases, or weight such as sandbag rings that can be dropped over the cones and onto the base to provide added stability.
08 Ballast should be kept to the minimum amount needed.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida , Business & Innovation – Stanford University) 25 years of experience in the reflective safety business. Specializing in vehicle accident and rear end collision reduction through increased visibility.