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.
Whether it is due perhaps to long-term rigorous traffic enforcement, to the mandatory driver training for all young drivers, or to a good safety culture in general, drivers in Montreal certainly appear to have a better-than-average attitude towards Vulnerable Road Users [VRU], and in turn, this makes the city a pleasant place for training (or learning) defensive and advanced driving.
Sometimes, permanent traffic signs almost seem to be designed to be ignored (and therefore lose much of their safety value at relevant times). One classic example of this, in the lower 48 states of the USA, might be the very common signs stating ‘Road Subject to Ice,’ but in a late July heatwave it’s a pretty safe bet they don’t mean ‘right now!’
While instructing on an advanced driving course recently in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, I was 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.
Some road signs are incorrect for their task and others can create problems by not being located exactly where they should be (sometimes because the installer was sticking strictly to a rule book and didn’t use common sense). But in this case the cause of potential danger is different: