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Federal Highway Administration Proposes Changes to Traffic Sign Regulations

By Laura Garcia
Deputy Legislative Director

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is accepting public comment on proposed revisions to federal regulations which will eliminate, extend or otherwise revise certain compliance dates relating to the replacement of traffic signs. Current regulations require state and local highway agencies to comply with certain changes in national standards for traffic control devices per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways by specific deadlines.

Altogether, the FHWA proposes to eliminate the compliance dates for 46 traffic control items, including the elimination of the compliance deadline relating to minimum retroreflectivity standards for certain street name signs, as well as the deadline requiring larger lettering on those signs.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the proposed revisions are intended to reduce the costs and impacts of compliance dates on state and local highway agencies and streamline and simplify the information. In many cases, under the proposed revisions, noncompliant traffic control devices can be replaced by local governments in the ordinary course of routine maintenance or when they have worn out, rather than by a specified deadline. However, a few deadlines for sign upgrades that are deemed critical to public safety will remain.

The entire proposed rule revisions, as well as details on how to submit public comments, can be accessed here.

deadline to submit public comments is Oct. 31, 2011.