The National Uniform Traffic Control Device Committee and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are in the final stages of review and publication of the 11th Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is anticipated in 2023.
The proposed updates to the manual smartly envision the future of transportation by considering the preparedness of our nation’s highways for automated vehicles. They also renew attention on safety for our most vulnerable road users, including the nation’s highway workers, emergency responders, cyclists, and pedestrians.FHWA Administrator Nicole R. Nason
How is the the 11th Edition of the MUTCD Being Developed?
The 11th Edition will reflect research results, interim approvals, official interpretations, and change requests. It considers over 150 Official Experiments of novel TCD and applications. The process to update the MUTCD is in accordance with the two-step Federal Register rulemaking process, which provides opportunities for public review and comment. The process includes:
What Will Change in the 11th Edition of the MUTCD?
The Proposed Amendments include 647 items, “intended to update the technical provisions to reflect advances in technologies and operational practices, incorporate recent trends and innovations, and set the stage for automated driving systems as those continue to take shape” (NPA Executive Summary). While not nearly an exhaustive list, a few examples of more significant changes anticipated in the 11th Edition of the MUTCD are shown below.
What is the Future of the MUTCD?
In the future, FHWA expects that the MUTCD will be updated more frequently through revisions, with a new revision every few years. Revisions are a more focused and manageable rule making process compared to full updates to the MUTCD. Future MUTCD editions are envisioned to be published at five- to eight-year intervals.