New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

When are retroreflective strips on sign supports required?

Retroreflective strips are one of several ways to enhance the visibility of standard signs. The MUTCD Section 2A.15 Enhanced Conspicuity for Standard Signs provides multiple options for increasing the visibility of a standard sign, which includes the retroreflective strips on sign supports. This Section provides guidelines to follow when improved visibility is required to better identify any given sign.

It should be noted that the requirement for the Enhanced Conspicuity for standard signs is generally based on the need to make a sign more visible. These enhancements should be ONLY be used when there is a need for extra emphasis. Use on every sign would reduce the effectiveness of their highlighting value. The relocation of any given sign may also be considered as a means to improve its visibility.

Specific guidance for the use of retroreflective strip on sign supports can be found in Section 2A-21 Posts and Mountings in the MUTCD which states:

"04 - If a strip of retroreflective material is used on the sign support, it shall be at least 2 inches in width, it shall be placed for the full length of the support from the sign to within 2 feet above the edge of the roadway, and its color shall match the background color of the sign, except that the color of the strip for the YIELD and DO NOT ENTER signs shall be red."

Photograph of intersection with example of signs

Post on left with retroreflective strip on post,
post on right without retroreflective strip


National MUTCD - Section 2A.15 - Enhanced Conspicuity for Standard Signs

NOTE: The National MUTCD details some Enhanced Conspicuity solutions which are NOT currently specified in New York State. Be sure to cross-reference any proposed installations in the New York State Supplement to the National MUTCD (PDF)

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