Signs

Signs

Road Sign

Signs are important fixtures that help advance roadway safety every day throughout the United States. Today, a variety of symbols, shapes, and colors are used to convey messages to users on and around the roadways. Signs types include traffic, roadway, warning, railroad, guide, recreational, temporary, regulatory, pedestrian, and bicycle.

There are many benefits to using symbols, which include immediate communication with all roadway users and their ability to break language barriers. Colors can communicate approaching scenarios such as using orange to indicate an upcoming work zone or red for an upcoming stop or yielding point. A number of shapes are also used to indicate oncoming situations or to provide roadway users with information such as octagons for stop and long horizontal, rectangular signs displaying guidance information.

Today, traffic signs are being looped into the world of autonomous driving technology. Research efforts are being made to equip traffic signs with technology, like embedded machine-readable codes, to allow them to communicate with Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and other mapping devices.

ATSSA has dedicated group of members on its Sign Committee (member login required), who work to:

  • Enhance members’ businesses by increasing their understanding of traffic control devices on private property,
  • Influence the present and future direction of Minimum Retroreflectivity Standards,
  • Inform and educate roadway safety industry members on sign industry-related matters,
  • Provide knowledge and education about signing retroreflectivity,
  • Work to have dedicated funds identified and available for sign management systems and the implementation of upgraded programs to conform with MRS,
  • Monitor and influence the development of a new MUTCD chapter on changeable message signs,
  • Improve upon and solicit greater committee member participation in Sign Committee meetings and on task forces, including recruitment of new committee members.

Resources

ATSSA announces 2021 New Products Rollout participants

Exhibitors to showcase most innovative products in roadway safety infrastructure industry

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 7, 2021) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association  selected nine companies to participate in its 2021 New Products Rollout  event, which is held in conjunction with the 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo being held online over two weeks in February.

Typically, more than 3,700 people attend the largest roadway safety tradeshow in North America to see some of the latest innovations in the roadway safety infrastructure industry. The products submitted as part of NPRO are comprised of a wide range of devices designed to save lives on our nation’s roadways.

This year’s Convention is being held Feb. 8-12 and 16-18.

FHWA issues MUTCD ruling on ‘Uses of and Nonstandard Syntax on Changeable Message Signs’

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The Federal Highway administration issued a Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or Streets and Highways (MUTCD) official ruling this week pertaining to syntax on changeable message sign messaging.

Official Ruling No. 2(09)-174 provides an official interpretation for the question of “whether the MUTCD provides for displays on changeable message signs (CMS) that use unconventional wording typically not found on standard signing and how public input into the development of CMS messages may be used.”

The ruling notes that the devices should not contain advertising or messages unrelated to traffic control and then reviews the five principles for an effective traffic control device: fulfill a need; command attention; convey a clear, simple meaning; command respect from road users; and give adequate time for proper response.

ATSSA Training offers new sign retroreflectivity courses

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ATSSA has been providing roadway safety training for nearly 50 years, and we are not stopping there. This year, ATSSA will roll out new courses on sign retroreflectivity to further serve individuals in the roadway safety infrastructure industry. These online training courses will add to ATSSA’s wide range of existing course modules, which include flagger training, guardrail and barrier installation and maintenance, high friction surface treatment, roadway paving and maintenance, pedestrian safety, and temporary traffic control. 

Will Connected and Autonomous Vehicles change the landscape of signage standardization?

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On June 19, 2019 at the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Task Force Meeting, updates on signage and pavement marking uniformity were the main topics of discussion. With CAVs entering U.S. roadways every day, the need for uniformity is growing exponentially. Transformational technologies on CAVs raise new questions for groups like the NCUTCD, such as signage that appears on the exterior of CAVs. For instance, many autonomous vehicles (AVs) manufacturers have their own signage displays on the exterior of the vehicle that alert human drivers and pedestrians of the CAV’s intentions on the roadway.

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