Guidelines To Safer Roads

The MUTCD is a national standard, intended to ensure that traffic signs are consistent throughout the United States. Each state has adopted either the Federal MUTCD “as is” or, the Federal MUTCD modified with a state supplement, or a state-specific traffic control manual which governs contains standards for traffic control devices that regulate, warn and guide road users along all roadways within that particular state. Please contact your state Department of Transportation or local highway, public works, or traffic engineering department to find out which laws and regulations apply to signs and traffic control devices in your state or municipality.

The traffic control devices (TCD) are very critical for the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), by setting minimum standards and providing guidance, ensures uniformity of traffic control devices across the nation. The use of uniform TCDs (messages, location, size, shapes, and colors) helps reduce crashes and congestion, and improves the efficiency of the surface transportation system. Uniformity also helps reduce the cost of TCDs through standardization. The information contained in the MUTCD is the result of either years of practical experience, research, and/or the MUTCD experimentation process. This effort ensures that TCDs are visible, recognizable, understandable, and necessary. The MUTCD is a dynamic document that changes with time to address contemporary safety and operational issues.

The purpose of the National Handbook of Traffic Control Practices for Low Volume Rural Roads (NLVR) is to assist local government units throughout the United States (US) in providing safe local roads for the traveling public. It is recognized that funds for construction, maintenance and operation of the local road system are limited and, therefore, the Handbook is aimed at providing a rational balance between maximum safety and minimum cost. The use of the Handbook by local agencies throughout the US will mean more consistent signing and marking of local roads, thus providing roads which better meet the expectancy of the drivers and are therefore safer. The consistent use of the practices should also decrease the legal liability of local government units in case of lawsuits arising from roadway crashes. The National LVR Handbook is intended for county (or similar units) and city engineers, county road supervisors, city street superintendents, township boards, and other local officials with low-volume road and street safety responsibilities. Note: Low-Volume is normally defined as 400 vehicles per day or less.

Institute of Transportation Engineers

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