What is the status of the MUTCD changes proposed in the Summer 2011?
The final determinations were both published in the National Register on May 14, 2012; the effective date for both is June 13, 2012.
The two changes are:
- The definition a “Standard” and the allowance for use of engineering judgment and engineering study in determining use of traffic control devices.
- Compliance dates for many new signs, sizes, and retroreflectivity requirements.
The definition of a Standard in Section 1A.13 paragraph 01A has been changed to read:
A. Standard- a statement of required, mandatory, or specifically prohibitive practice regarding a traffic control device. All Standard statements are labeled, and the text appears in bold type. The verb “shall” is typically used. The verbs “should” and “may” are not used in Standard statements. Standard statements are sometimes modified by Options.
The definitions of Engineering Study and Engineering Judgment have not changed, but the phrase from the 2003 MUTCD allowing engineering studies or judgment to be used to make a final decision has been restored. The following paragraph has been added to the Guidance portion of Section 1A.09 -
03 The decision to use a particular device at a particular location should be made on the basis of either an engineering study or the application of engineering judgment. Thus, while this Manual provides Standards, Guidance, and Options for design and applications of traffic control devices, this Manual should not be considered a substitute for engineering judgment. Engineering judgment should be exercised in the selection and application of traffic control devices, as well as in the location and design of roads and streets that the devices complement.
Paragraphs 03, 04, and 05 have been renumbered as 04, 05, and 06.
More information on the proposed changes to compliance dates can be found in the Quick Answer:
I heard many of the new requirements of the 2009 National MUTCD are being eliminated. Is this true?
Text of revisions from MUTCD
MUTCD with Revisions 1 & 2