Adopt-a-Highway safety tips
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Adopt-a-Highway safety tips

The Adopt-a-Highway program gives Texans an opportunity to volunteer in their communities while enjoying teamwork, exercise and beautiful roadside scenery. Safety is a primary goal for everyone, and because our volunteers are so important to this program, the following are some tips to keep you and your group safe as you clean up Texas roads.

Proper attire

  • Volunteers must wear the safety vests provided by TxDOT at all times during the cleanup.
  • Volunteers must wear gloves to protect hands from sharp objects. Leather work gloves are suggested. This will protect against the sun and any poisonous plants or insects you might encounter.
  • Only wear closed-toe shoes. Leather shoes or boots with good soles are recommended.
  • Wear light-colored clothing and long pants or jeans. Wear a hat and long sleeves to avoid sunburn.

Highway safety

  • Assure that traffic control signs are open (or set out in the case of detachable signs) during the cleanup and returned to the closed position (or removed) after cleanup.
  • The Adopt-a-Highway group sign must be mounted before pickups can be performed.
  • Carpool to the pickup site to reduce the number of vehicles in the right of way.
  • Do not stop or park vehicles on roadways.
  • Stay in the right of way. Only cross the roadway when necessary.
  • Groups should keep 5 feet of distance from the pavement edge.
  • Always work facing traffic. Never turn your back to oncoming cars. If you can see an out-of-control vehicle coming your way, it might be possible to avoid danger.
  • All children must be supervised. The suggested ratio is at least one supervisor for every three children under age 15. At least one adult must be present for minors ages 15 to 18. Children under the age of seven (7) may not participate in the program.
  • Never walk on guardrails, and do not lean over bridge railings.
  • Do not pick up items on bridges, in tunnels or on overpasses.
  • Watch your footing. Stay off of/away from steep slopes, trenches or any type of drop-off.
  • Avoid using headsets, which can prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic.
  • Do not enter the roadway or its shoulder areas to pick up trash.

Health concerns

  • Do not pick up anything that could be hazardous to your health. This includes needles, syringes, jagged glass, animal carcasses, urine bottles or heavy objects. If in doubt, flag the item on the fence line and alert your TxDOT contact to the problem.
  • Adopters are required to have a first-aid kit on hand at all times. It’s suggested that one or two of the volunteers should be familiar with CPR and general first-aid techniques in case of emergency.
  • Know the phone number and the driving route to the nearest hospital. If possible, carry a cell phone.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent are good to keep on hand.
  • Keep a list of any allergies volunteers have, in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid overexertion. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water should be available to volunteers at all times.