Traffic Control Armlets

The jobs assigned to military policemen are many and varied. One role they are asked to perform is directing traffic, using hand signals much as civilian police used to do at busy junctions in the past. These traffic movements are controlled using the arms, either waving traffic forward or holding up a hand to stop movement. This can present difficulties however as it is not always easy for a motorist to see the policeman’s hands, especially in the dark. To help improve the visibility of these hand signals, military police were issued reflective armlets to wear over the base of their sleeves when directing traffic:

These armlets are made of white vinyl, with reflective stripes runnning up the length of them to reflect back the light of a headlamp at night:

The armlets are slipped over the hands and rest over the lower arm. To secure them in place they are elasticated at the wrist to hold them firm:

As is usual, a stores label is sewn inside each armlet:

Traffic control is an essential service in a war zone, ensuring lorries with essential supplies and messages can move efficiently round the battlefield. After World War II Myles Dempsey paid this tribute:

The military policeman became so well known a figure on every road to the battlefield that his presence became taken for granted. Few soldiers as they hurried over a bridge, which was a regular target for the enemy, gave much thought to the man whose duty it was to be there for hours on end, directing the traffic and ensuring its rapid passage.” 

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