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How New Federal Regulations Impact Signs on Private Property

Private property with public acces is now required to have traffic control signs that are consistent with those on public roads. This is becoming a big deal now as the “grace period” for implementing these requirements is coming to an end. All traffic signs, pavement markings and other traffic control devices are now required to conform to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (“MUTCD”, over 800 pages of fun!)

The Manual on Uniform
Traffic Control Devices

Effective January 16, 2007, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) amended the United States Code (U.S.C.) to clarify the applicability of the MUTCD to ANY road open to public travel. That includes privately owned property where the public travels. Here are some tips on compliance… 1. First detemine if the law applies to you and your property, basically if a public road goes onto your property and the general public are regularly driving off and on your property, the standards apply. Examples of properties affected are:   • Shopping Centers   • Office Centers   • Apartment Complexes   • Recreation Areas and similar locations.

What if I don’t comply?If you don’t comply with the law, you risk exposure to tort liability if someone is injured or loses their life on your property. Lawyers are the top purchaser of copies of the MUTCD manual (and you can guess what that implies. But besides the legal liability, good modern signage contributes to safety, a professional looking appearance on the property and makes the property owner look good. It may help prevent problems!

Examples of good and bad signs

2. Review your signage and determine where you are not in compliance. Some examples of signs that don’t comply are:

1- Signs that are the wrong color, such as a green stop sign, stop signs are required by law to be red.

2- Signs that are the wrong height such as four feet from the ground. Signs must be mounted at 7 feet from the base of the sign to the ground.

3- Odd Speed Limits. All speed limits must be in 5 mph equivelents. (i.e. you can’t have 11 mph, it must be 10mph or 15 mph.

4- Signs that are faded, or do not have the right level of retro-reflectiveness. This refers to the ability of a material to return light to it’s source. Traffic control signs need to return most of the light that strikes them back to their source (this level is called diamond grade reflectability)

 3. Get the proper signs installed! Contact PIP Signworks today to assist you in selecting Federally-approved signs. If you are in Central Florida we are happy to stop by and help you with a complete sign audit!

 For more information contact:

 PIP Signworks – 407-847-5565

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