A Traffic Warden is a member of civilian staff employed by a police force to assist in regulating the flow of traffic. The number of Traffic Wardens has dropped significantly over the past ten years because the Road Traffic Act 1991 gave local authorities the option to apply for Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers, under which they can employ private parking attendants to monitor parking regulations. The police has recently merged the roles of Traffic Warden and Police Community Support Officer to create the Traffic Police Community Support Officer role. These people have the powers of both a Police Community Support Officer and a Traffic Warden.
Traffic Wardens have the power to request that a vehicle stop or not stop or to make a vehicle proceed in a certain direction. They also issue Non-endorsable Fixed Penalty notices (local authority Parking Attendants have replaced most of London's traffic Wardens. They issue Penalty Charge Notices) to vehicles that are breaching certain parking regulations, which may include stopping on a Red Route, exceeding the time limit in a free parking bay, or parking on yellow lines, which indicate that a waiting and/or loading restriction is in force. They also issue Endorsable Fixed Penalty Notices for parking offences such as dangerous position and parking on crossing controlled areas.
Well thats the situation in Britain anyway.
We just think they look funny.