Adopt-a-Highway

Safety Guidelines

Decision Matrix: Guidelines for volunteers PDF (PDF, 577 KB)

Video: Guidelines for volunteers

Before Picking Up

  • Hold at least one safety meeting per year. This must attended by everyone participating. At the meeting, review safety information supplied by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other guidelines.

  • Carpool to the pickup site to keep roadside parking to a minimum. Park as far from the road's edge as possible.

  • Your group must have at least one adult supervisor for every six children under age 18 years.

  • Children under age 10 may participate in pickups only if VDOT's resident engineer has given the group a special permit. If the resident engineer has not done this, call your local VDOT contact before bringing children under 10 to the pickup.

The Best Time to Pick Up

  • Do not pick up during peak travel times or when traffic is heavy.

  • Work only in daylight and fair weather.

  • Never participate in a litter pickup while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

What to Wear

  • Always wear an orange safety vest so drivers can see you easily. Put on the vest before you leave the car so you are visible the moment you are on the side of the road.

  • In addition to the orange vest, wear brightly colored clothing that protects your arms and legs. Also wear hard-soled shoes and work or gardening gloves.

  • Wear heavy gloves when removing temporary signs in case there are sharp edges. If you remove signs attached to poles within the right of way, wear safety glasses and use an appropriate tool to do it safely.

During Pickups

Volunteer does pickup
Wear vests, gloves while picking up . 

  • Always put up or open the "Cleanup Crew Working" signs before cleaning.

  • Close the signs after you've finished the pickup.

  • Always walk facing traffic and stay with the team.

  • Take breaks, drink fluids and don't overexert.

  • Do not pick up litter in the road or close to the edge of the road.

  • Do not pick up litter on median strips unless you have received permission from VDOT's resident engineer to do so.

  • Do not pick up litter in construction or maintenance sites, in tunnels, or on bridges or overpasses. Leave that for VDOT.

  • Do not pick up litter or remove signs beyond your adopted section. Stay within the area marked by your safety signs.

  • Watch for snakes and poisonous weeds.

  • Do not pick up materials that appear to be hazardous. Contact the state police.
Page last modified: Oct. 7, 2014