When do sign posts have to meet the new standards for crashworthiness?
At the 2010 Highway School we had a demonstration of crashworthy sign supports. With the adoption of 2009 National MUTCD, all signs in the clear zone must now be crashworthy (breakaway, yielding, or shielded with a longitudinal barrier or crash cushion). The compliance date for roads with a posted speed of 50 mph or more is January 2013.
While there is no specific date for other roads, any new sign support installation should meet the standard. As you replace your signs, be sure any new supports meet the standard.
Table I-2. Target Compliance Dates Established by FHWA
Crashworthiness of sign supports on roads with posted speed limit of 50 mph or higher January 17, 2013
MUTCD Section 2A.19 Lateral Offset:
For overhead sign supports, the minimum lateral offset from the edge of the shoulder (or if no shoulder exists, from the edge of the pavement) to the near edge of overhead sign supports (cantilever or sign bridges) shall be 6 feet. Overhead sign supports shall have a barrier or crash cushion to shield them if they are within the clear zone.
Post-mounted sign and object marker supports shall be crashworthy (breakaway, yielding, or shielded with a longitudinal barrier or crash cushion) if within the clear zone.