Federal government eases traffic sign replacement guidelines

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The Federal Highway Administration recently announced the elimination of 46 federal regulations regarding the installation and upkeep of traffic signs in an effort to reduce the cost of highway maintenance at the local level and allow regional traffic safety officials more flexibility for determining their own street sign maintenance schedules as required by their individual communities. A representative from the United States Department of Transportation estimated that the elimination of these regulations will save local communities, many of which are working under limited budgets due to current economic conditions, millions of dollars over the next several years. One regulation that is being eliminated previously required communities to replace their street signs based on an assigned deadline date. Communities under the new guidelines will be allowed to replace most road signs at their own discretion, based on their degradation over time. According to one Federal Highway Administration official, local community leaders are better suited at determining when a traffic sign requires replacement. The replacement dates previously dictated by the administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a periodically updated guide detailing the U.S. government’s standards for all pavement markings, street signs and traffic signals. Among the deadline dates that will be retained after these 46 regulations are eliminated include regulations detailing the replacement schedule for One Way street signs and safety guidelines requiring the installation of Stop or Yield signs at  railroad crossing not equipped with flashing lights or automatic gates automatically triggered by train movement.