Traffic Delineators: Fixed & Temporary Delineation Devices

Sonco Perimeter Security

Sonco Perimeter Security, October 16, 2023

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Traffic Delineators: Fixed & Temporary Delineation Devices

Proven Safety Tool: Features & Benefits of Traffic Delineators

With traffic-related deaths reaching a 20-year high in early 2022, the Department of Transportation and state highway divisions have launched education initiatives targeting 2023 road safety. As a contractor, construction lead or highway manager, you are responsible for creating a safe motorist environment — on the road and off. When you need to direct drivers toward a destination or away from construction zones and hazards, traffic delineators are an efficient, affordable and versatile tool. 



  1. Delineators are a product category that includes bar barriers, cones, vertical panels and posts.  
  2. Today, the word “delineator” has also become synonymous with a retro-reflective, post-style marker that is highly visible and used for lane or parking direction.  
  3. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration considers delineators “guidance devices” instead of warning devices, offering this helpful usage info in the Manual on Uniform and Traffic Devices, Chapter 3F

Traffic Delineators according to MUTCD

“Traffic delineators are particularly beneficial at locations where the alignment might be confusing or unexpected, such as at lane-reduction transitions and curves. Delineators are effective guidance devices at night and during adverse weather. An important advantage of delineators in certain locations is that they remain visible when the roadway is wet or snow-covered. (…) Delineators may be used on long continuous sections of highway or through short stretches where there are changes in horizontal alignment.” 

4. Proven highly effective for highways, side streets and parking structures, some delineator posts are also lightweight and portable for fast installation in emergencies.



Temporary and fixed delineator posts are economical tools for directing motorists and reducing accidents, but what’s the difference — and which is right for you? SONCO makes it easy for you to speak with product experts for specific application questions, but here are some general guidelines. 


FIXED TRAFFIC DELINEATORS: Applications & Features 

Fixed delineators are installed for mid- to long-term use. Many of these products are designed to flex during impact, allowing them to rebound from vehicle collisions. No matter where you deploy permanent delineators, SONCO posts are easy to see, hard to avoid and efficient to install.  

The primary purpose of fixed delineators is to guide traffic flow when complex road design is confusing to motorists. Permanent delineators can also attach to asphalt or concrete for these applications:   

  • Directing drivers along major road curves
  • Guiding vehicles in parking structures
  • Separating incoming/outgoing traffic at warehouses or business lots
  • Channelizing traffic in HOV lanes & turnpikes
  • Managing traffic heavy vehicle-use areas 

Available in a handy boxed kit, each EZ-grab, permanent-mount delineator comes with a post, two prismatic/hi-viz collars, and a secure base plus clamp. Affix delineators to asphalt or concrete for mid- to long-term safety solutions in parking structures, HOV lanes or turnpikes.

For heavy-traffic environments, fixed delineators also flex during contact to withstand vehicle collisions. No matter where you deploy them, SONCO’s fixed delineators are easy to see, hard to avoid and efficient to install. Check out these popular features of MUTCD-approved delineator posts: 

  • Safety orange, yellow & other colors that draw attention
  • Quick-install bases & clamps that save labor time
  • 3” recessed, prismatic bands for nighttime & tunnel visibility
  • Top handles for easy deployment or pickup
  • High tensile strength & impact resistance
  • Weather-resistant materials that last for years 



Temporary delineators are popular for guiding traffic at events, roadwork sites, business facilities and more. Designed to flex during impact, they are ideal for many shorter-term situations. Choose temporary delineators to help drivers avoid hazards, navigate congestion or merge lanes in short-term situations

Temporary delineators also attach to asphalt or concrete for these applications:   

  • Guiding traffic around road repairs
  • Calling out work zones
  • Controlling traffic at events & festivals
  • Establishing road detours
  • Demarcating lane changes
  • Designating short-term parking areas 


Deployment ease is crucial when it comes to temporary delineator posts. Work crews may need to install these markers on the fly, so SONCO’s EZ-Grab temp delineators are slim, portable and lightweight.

With sturdy handles enabling quick placement in routine or emergency situations, these impact-resistant delineators help drivers avoid hazards, merge, or avoid congestion. Tall, high-visibility post systems also guide traffic around road repairs, establish detours, demarcate lane changes or designate parking areas.  

Enjoy these features when you purchase SONCO’s MUTCD-approved temporary delineators: 

  • Convenient carry handles for quick installation & pickup
  • Safety orange, yellow & other colors to suit your application
  • 3” recessed, reflective bands for visibility in dark environments
  • Stackable bases for compact storage & transport
  • Outstanding fatigue strength & collision resistance
  • Weather- & UV-resistant material for years of durable use 



#1: Ensure Visibility to Reduce Accidents 

Composite-polymer traffic delineators stand out along roads or in parking lots, no matter the conditions: day, night and fair or inclement weather. When roadways are wet or snow-covered, the posts’ bright colors and reflective, three-inch bands promise continued visibility. 

As a bonus, SONCO delineators are generously sized (45 inches tall!) for increased effectiveness. Each road marker acts as a beacon on highways, side streets and parking areas, guiding motorists to safety or designating carpool lanes. 


#2 Minimize Driver Distraction 

Highway planners know signage overload contributes to driver distraction. In one of the earliest comprehensive reports on the subject, a 2006 Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that a distracted glance of just 2+ seconds could double the risk of a crash or near-crash.  

To keep drivers focused and avoid sign clutter, many road crews choose delineators to direct traffic and demarcate hazards. Road contractors and traffic control teams use this simple, high-visibility tool to create safer environments in parking lots, roadways and side streets. 


#3 Keep Your Budget in Line 

Safety is always the priority, but SONCO knows tight DOT or construction budgets also dictate equipment decisions. Dynamic message boards and LED signs may be a consideration, but they can be cost-prohibitive — especially with maintenance, operation and potential downtime. Instead, many transportation departments choose affordable traffic delineators to manage road congestion or alert drivers to potential hazards. 

To request your estimate for high-visibility delineator posts, connect with our product support team now! There’s a reason we are rated 4.6/5 for customer support and product quality. Experience the SONCO difference today! We are proud to partner with contractors, construction companies and transportation departments to keep motorists safe.  

Ask about other delineator devices, too: cones, bar barriers, vertical panels and more. SONCO helps you stay compliant with FHWA and MUTCD standards — so you can reduce liability in a high-stakes industry. Call or email our team for quotes, product info and bundled delineator and traffic-control product deals. 

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