Traffic officers help keep roads and and walkways free of congestion so regular traffic, emergency vehicles and pedestrians can move about safely. Depending on the location, they patrol on foot, by bicycle or in vehicles. Traffic officers typically need a high school diploma or the equivalent, along with a valid driver's license, and they also receive on-the-job training and class instruction. Among other duties, traffic officers enforce parking regulations and issue various citations, such as for illegal parking.
Warnings, Citations and Impounding
Sometimes traffic officers issue a warning before issuing a citation. They also check vehicles that are parked in metered parking spots to see if they have been there beyond the time limit. If so, they issue a warning or citation, or in extreme cases, impound the vehicle. Traffic officers are also responsible for impounding vehicles that are illegally parked or abandoned.
Traffic officers are responsible for directing traffic during parades, road work or accidents. Sometimes traffic officers direct pedestrian foot traffic. They may assume the responsibility of the crossing guard if one is not present. Traffic officers may also control crowds during emergencies to make sure fire and rescue workers can get to the scene safely.
Traffic officers may be asked to testify in court regarding parking violations or citations. They are usually required to keep a daily log of events during their shift. This log should include all citations, complaints received and any special situations. Traffic officers may write reports about any problems they typically encounter and make recommendations for changes.