Transportation secretary calls for more comments on new regulations
On Nov. 29, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called for additional public input on compliance dates for a number of federal traffic control regulations, ranging from road sign reflectivity to crosswalk timing. The next day, LaHood issued a statement saying the new road sign reflectivity rules “make no sense.”
The new regulations are found in The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and which is a compilation of national standards for all traffic control devices, including road markings, highway signs, and traffic signals. The proposed revisions would “establish a uniform minimum level of nighttime pavement marking performance based on the visibility needs of nighttime drivers,” according to the FHWA proposal. The proposed revisions are intended to promote safety, enhance traffic operations, and facilitate comfort and convenience for all drivers, including older drivers.
However, LaHood said in a statement that the cost for local and state governments to comply with the new regulations would be high. “Given the difficult economic conditions states currently face, asking for additional input on compliance dates is the right thing to do,” LaHood said. “We want to be sure these safety requirements are reasonable, fair and cost-effective.”
The public will have until Jan. 14 to submit comments to the Federal Register by going to www.regulations.gov. On Nov. 30, LaHood said in a statement that the new street sign reflectivity regulation makes no sense because of the high costs local governments would incur to bring their communities into compliance. “States, cities, and towns should not be required to spend money that they don’t have to replace perfectly good traffic signs,” LaHood said. “There have got to be better ways to improve safety without piling costs onto the American people.”
Read LaHood’s entire statement on the street sign regulations and his request for more time to comment on complying with the new regulations. Also, read more information about the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.