The Obama Administration is eliminating dozens of burdensome regulations on traffic signs, which cash-strapped state and local governments expect will save them millions of dollars.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing that communities replace traffic signs when they are worn out, rather than requiring signs to be replaced by a specific deadline. The proposed changes will eliminate 46 deadlines mandated by federal traffic control regulations.
In January, President Obama called for a government-wide review of regulations already on the books. The purpose was to identify rules that needed to be changed or removed because they were unnecessary, out-of-date, excessively burdensome or overly costly.
“A specific deadline for replacing street signs makes no sense and would have cost communities across America millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The regulations establishing deadlines for street and traffic sign replacement came from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is a compilation of national standards for all pavement markings, street signs and traffic signals. The Federal Highway Administration, which has published the manual since 1971, updates it periodically to accommodate changing transportation needs and address new safety technologies, traffic control tools, and traffic management techniques.
FHWA issued a Notice of Proposed Amendments to eliminate 46 of the deadlines in the manual.
“Local and state transportation agencies are best equipped to determine when they need to replace signs and other items in the course of their daily work,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez.
The deadlines requiring that certain street name signs be replaced by 2018 to meet minimum retroreflectivity standards and requiring larger lettering on those street name signs are among the series of deadlines eliminated under the proposed amendment.
The proposal would also eliminate deadlines for increasing the size of various traffic signs, such as “Pass With Care” and “One Way, as well as warning signs such as “Low Clearance” and “Advance Grade Crossing.” Instead, communities will be able to replace and upgrade these signs when they reach the end of their useful life.
The DOT has retained 12 deadlines for sign upgrades that it says are critical to public safety. These safety-critical sign upgrades include installing “One Way” signs at intersections with divided highways or one-way streets and requiring “Stop” or “Yield” signs to be added at all railroad crossings that don’t have train-activated automatic gates or flashing lights.
Last November, FHWA published a request for comments in the Federal Register on deadlines and received almost 600 comments from highway agencies, state departments of transportation, other organizations, and private citizens. FHWA took these comments into consideration as it developed the Notice of Proposed Amendments.
FHWA is also soliciting public comments for this proposed rule for the next 60 days. Comments should be directed to www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
Printer Friendly Version
Email This Story
Government/Regulations: Related News
8/31/2011 – DOT Proposes to Eliminate Deadlines for Replacing Traffic Signs
The Obama Administration is eliminating dozens of burdensome regulations on traffic signs, which cash-strapped state and local governments expect will save them millions of dollars….
8/31/2011 – FMCSA Awards Over $2 Million for Truck Safety in South Dakota
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced over $2 million in federal grants to improve commercial truck and bus safety in North Dakota….
8/31/2011 – Advisory Panel Will Take More Time on EOBR Recommendations
It is too soon to gauge the impact of last week’s court ruling on the electronic onboard recorder rule, but David Parker, chairman of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, sees it as an opportunity….
8/30/2011 – Chain Law Starts Sept. 1 on Colorado’s I-70
Starting Sept. 1, all commercial vehicles traveling on I-70 in Colorado between milepost 133 (Edwards exit) and milepost 259 (Morrison exit) must carry sufficient chains to be in compliance with the Colorado chain law….
8/29/2011 – EOBR Implementation Tops Advisory Committee Agenda
UPDATED — Key technical details of the pending electronic onboard recorder mandate are scheduled to be discussed this week at a meeting of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. At the request of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the committee has been looking into issues such as how best to give roadside inspectors access to electronic logs….
8/29/2011 – Court Rejects EOBR Rule
A federal appeals court Friday tossed out the electronic onboard recorder rule, saying it does not do enough to prevent harassment of drivers.
In response to a petition by several independent drivers and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the rule and sent it back to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for review….
8/26/2011 – Texas Simplifies Vehicle Registration Fee Structure
A new system that standardizes and simplifies registration fees for nearly every vehicle owner in Texas begins September 1….
8/26/2011 – DOT to Revise Dozens of Regulations
The Department of Transportation is eliminating or revising dozens of rules in response to President Obama’s call for a review of burdensome regulations….
8/26/2011 – Pennsylvania Gets $8 Million for Truck and Bus Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced more than $8 million in federal grants to improve commercial truck and bus safety across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania….
8/23/2011 – FMCSA Redefines Hazardous Materials Threshold
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration changed criteria for the Hazardous Materials intervention threshold.
In the August 3 Safety Measurement System release, FMCSA refined the criteria that determines which motor carriers are subject to the more stringent Hazardous Materials intervention threshold. …
8/23/2011 – New Illinois Law to Improve Oversize/Overweight Permits
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing the state Department of Transportation to issue permits for loads that previously exceeded size and weight restrictions for travel on state highways if specific conditions are met….
8/19/2011 – Senate Highway Reauthorization Draft Addresses Truck Safety Issues
The Senate is considering truck safety legislation that would buttress a number of regulatory reforms under way at the Department of Transportation, such as an electronic onboard recorder mandate and mandatory 65-mph speed limiters, and give the agency more authority in a number of areas….
8/15/2011 – Illinois Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Truck Route Info
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation requiring local governments to provide the most up-to-date truck route information for the Illinois Department of Transportation to post online….
8/15/2011 – NAFA Urges EPA To Reconsider E15 Waiver Decision
The NAFA Fleet Management Association disputes the Environmental Protection Agency’s two partial waivers under the Clean Air Act that allow E15 to be sold for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks….
8/12/2011 – Canada Working to Address Emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Canada’s Environment Minister released a consultation paper on the development of proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles….
8/11/2011 – Survey Finds Drivers Still Don’t Understand CSA
Truck drivers may not have a solid understanding of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new CSA enforcement program, and a majority are concerned that it could cause them to lose their jobs, according to a new survey from the American Transportation Research Institute….
8/11/2011 – Shippers Oppose FMCSA Efforts to Regulate Waiting Time
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s five-year strategic plan calls for expanding its reach in the supply chain to shippers and receivers, and shippers’ groups aren’t happy about it….
8/9/2011 – Obama Administration Announces First Fuel Economy Standards for Medium and Heavy Trucks
President Obama today announced first-of-their-kind fuel efficiency standards for trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles, saying the new rules will save American businesses who operate and own these commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program….
8/3/2011 – Better Stopping Performance Now Built Into Highway Tractors as New Rules Take Effect
Emerging from truck factories in the U.S. right now are road tractors that can stop in substantially shorter distances than those built last week. That’s because new government stopping-distance requirements took effect August 1st….
8/1/2011 – Snowe Introduces Bill to Allow Trucks Over 80,000 Pounds
Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine proposed legislation that will allow six-axle trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds on all interstates highways in the state.
Currently, trucks weighing more than 80,000 pounds are restricted to secondary roads except for the Maine Turnpike from Kittery to Augusta. The Maine Republican’s bill would allow states to bypass Congress and seek individual waivers of the interstate restrictions from the U.S. DOT….
8/1/2011 – President Announces 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard
President Obama announced an agreement with 12 major auto makers to pursue the next phase in the administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025 — but one group says the move will mean billions in lost revenue for transportation infrastructure funding….
7/29/2011 – Illinois Simplifies State Truck Laws
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn this week signed laws that simplify trucking rules in the state….
7/29/2011 – City of Vancouver Considering Parking Fees for Loading Zones
Metered loading zones could become a reality in Vancouver.
The city is looking at how to better use road space as part of its Greenest City Action Plan, a ten-year action plan addressing Vancouver’s environmental challenges. Perhaps the biggest adverse effect will be on businesses and truck drivers….
7/20/2011 – Obama Administration Steps Up Action Against Unsafe Motor Carriers
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that in the last two years, the Obama Administration has issued as many imminent hazard orders placing unsafe bus and truck companies out of service as in the previous 10 years combined….
7/20/2011 – New York Law Requires Convex Mirrors on Trucks in Big Apple
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Monday that requires convex mirrors, or “crossover mirrors,” to be placed on the front of trucks being driven in New York City to eliminate blind spots directly in front of the truck….
7/19/2011 – IRS Gives Truckers Three-Month Extension; Highway Use Tax Return Due Nov. 30
The Internal Revenue Service advised truckers and other owners of heavy highway vehicles that their next federal highway use tax return, usually due Aug. 31, will instead be due on Nov. 30, 2011….
7/18/2011 – FMCSA Working on Plan to Correct CSA Scores for No-Fault Crashes
From where Davelene Huellinghoff sits, it makes no sense. She runs a small fleet out of Union, Mo., with a good safety record, yet her CSA crash indicator score jumped from 0% to 44% as a consequence of two accidents that were not the company’s fault.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to build a system that screens out no-fault crashes before they are entered into CSA scores, said senior transportation specialist Bryan Price. But it’s not easily done, he said, so the agency is working on a near-term remedy….