The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced this month (October 2018) that it is pursuing an update to the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways” — the MUTCD — in preparation for the future of automated vehicles and to afford states and local communities with more opportunities to utilize innovation.
While instructing on an advanced driving course recently in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, I briefly found it funny when I saw this sign but after a few moments of humor I was more dismayed than amused. Read on and you’ll find out why.
Sixty-nine years ago, back in 1949, the United Nations drew up a ‘Protocol on Road Signs and Signals.’ Goals of the protocol included uniformity of all road signs, signals and surface markings around the world, to make it easier for foreign visitors to understand traffic signs wherever they happened to be driving. In the same context there has always been a push for sign makers to use images rather than text on road signs, so that it is even easier to understand the signs.Continue reading “Does Mexico do a Better Job with Road Signs than the USA?”
Unclear or inaccurate traffic signs, road signs, pavement markings or road markings — call them what you prefer — can cause confusion or even danger.
Here’s one from Colorado, photographed in May 2018, but what exactly does it mean?
Poor quality paint is dangerously and very frequently used for pavement markings and crosswalks in the USA, in place of more-expensive but vastly-safer thermoplastic materials which have a high-glass-bead content for excellent reflectivity at night and in bad weather.
Compare the photo above with the one below. They are at the same location and were taken less than 12 hours apart.
Continue reading “USA: Crosswalks made with Low Quality Paint or in Pretty Colors are Potentially Deadly”
Event Summary from the NTSB – July 25, 2017
[Comments from ADoNA are at the foot of the page]
Although speeding is one of the most common factors in motor vehicle crashes in the USA, it is an underappreciated problem, involved in about 10,000 highway fatalities each year according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
In surprise and great dismay, I nearly spat my mouthful of coffee all over my keyboard when I read the article More traffic experiments planned in Fayetteville a few minutes ago, from the Fayetteville Flyer.
Traffic circles, of a sort, were allegedly first built by the Romans in order to expedite chariot movements at busy intersections 2,000 years ago. Some countries still use basic traffic circles and if you are an adrenalin junky, go to Paris and try driving on the one around the Arc de Triomphe when vehicles are flowing thick and fast! However, what today are properly called “modern roundabouts” were invented half-a-century ago in 1960s Britain.
Continue reading “What is it with the USA and Roundabouts? Wasting Time & Money, Reinventing a Wheel!”