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2009 MUTCD Updates for Traffic Control Equipment

MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) is the standard used for road/highway managers throughout the nation for maintaining and installing traffic control equipment. These devices can be found on private roads, bikeways, superhighways, and public streets. The MUTCD was created by the FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) and can be found in Subpart F, Part 655 of 23 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).

The 2009 MUTCD was adopted on December 19, 2009 and added to the Federal Register. All states were given two years to adopt these new regulations as their legal standard for all traffic control equipment. The MUTCD is updated periodically to suit the changing transportation needs of the country. These regulations include traffic signals, highway signs, and road markings.

Where Is It Required?
Several revisions have been made since the 2003 revision. These rules now apply to all roads open to public travel, even ones on private property such as recreation facilities, toll roads, theme parks, and shopping centers. However, MUTCD is not currently required for parking lot aisles.

Notable Changes
The color purple is now used to indicate lanes or facilities that are restricted. These lanes can only be entered by vehicles with ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) accounts. This is to help drivers to easily identify such lanes or facilities by using alternate pavement markings and signs.

A new section in the manual has been provided, which includes the definitions of about 40 abbreviations and acronyms. In addition, 12 new symbol signs have been added, which include several cultural interest and recreational signs. Sizes for signs will also be changed since revised tables have been created.

The final rule for the 2009 MUTCD was created on December 16, 2009. However, it was not enforced until January 15, 2010. The document has also undergone new formatting, making it easier to reference and read. Numerous other changes can be viewed by visiting http://mutcd.fhwa.gov