Bus crash inspires strengthening of traffic control device rules
In response to a bus crash in Atlanta last March that killed seven members of a college baseball team, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) plans to release new rules for highway signs and pavement markings. The new rules are to be included in the next edition of the administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
Confusing markings and signs may have contributed to the accident that occurred when the driver of a bus carrying an Ohio baseball team left the interstate and drove off an overpass bridge in the early morning darkness, according to the FHA. “While America’s highways have never been safer, crashes like this one offer important opportunities to learn how they can be avoided in the future,” Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka said in a statement. “We know what can happen when too many signs, or too few, make it difficult for motorists to make informed decisions.”
The recommended changes include requiring all highly occupied vehicle (HOV) lane signs to use a green background and white lettering, providing clearly worded signs for left-side direct exits, and better HOV-lane pavement markings. The FHA is accepting public comments about the proposed changes through July 2008. The MUTCD is available at