[1 MB, 12 pgs.]
Winter 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 3
Traffic Control Standards Revised for Safer Roadways
The U.S. DOT recently released a comprehensive update to its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which sets the standards for all devices used to regulate, warn or guide traffic, including traffic signs, pavement markings, and traffic signals.
The Federal Highway Administration (FH WA) has administered the manual since 1971.This is the first complete update to the manual since 2003. The revisions focus on improving the safety of U.S. roads. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood noted, “These new and updated standards will help make our nation’s roads and bridges safer for drivers, construction workers and pedestrians alike.”
Improved safety provisions in the MUTCD include
- Requiring better payment markings to increase bike lane safety;
- Extending walk times for pedestrians at crosswalks;
- Replacing highway signs with brighter, larger, more legible ones as existing signs wear out; and
- Expanding the use of flashing yellow arrow signals to give a clearer indication that drivers can turn left after yielding to any opposing traffic.
Extensive research led to the bulk of the MUTCD changes, and some were recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. The FHWA hopes these changes help ensure that roads can safely accommodate all appropriate types of travel, not just automobiles.
The MUTCD is available online at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov.