11th edition of the MUTCD
Since the publication of the 2009 edition of the MUTCD, there has been a considerable body of work in developing new traffic control devices and treatments, and in improving existing devices.
One organization that has been very active in developing traffic control device proposals is the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD). Since the close of submittals for the 2009 MUTCD, NCUTCD has transmitted over 200 proposals to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for possible inclusion in a future MUTCD edition.
Several Interim Approvals have been published since the issuance of the 2009 MUTCD, and other prior Interim Approvals have continued in effect under the 2009 MUTCD.
US Governmental Actions
In 2013, FHWA contacted NCUTCD and requested that NCUTCD provide FHWA with proposed MUTCD content which could then be considered for inclusion in a new edition. Following the June 2014 meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota, NCUTCD transmitted a large number of proposals to FHWA. However, no subsequent action was taken by the Obama Administration to initiate rulemaking on a new edition.
In January 2017, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order placing a moratorium on all new regulations except for those involving military, national security, or foreign affairs. In addition, the Executive Order tasked agencies with eliminating two existing regulations for every new regulation proposed.
On December 11, 2020, FHWA published a press release announcing the start of rulemaking on a new edition of the MUTCD. An advance copy of the Federal Register notice was linked to the press release.
Historically, a rulemaking proposal has had a 90 to 180 day window for public comment following the publication of the Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) in the Federal Register. However, the NPA for this edition will have a 90 day comment period, closing in mid-March, 2021. Following this, the time needed for review of comments by FHWA, revisions to the draft, and preparation of the new MUTCD edition and Final Rule has historically been approximately 18 months. So a reasonable estimation is that the Final Rule and new edition will occur approximately 21 to 24 months after the NPA. FHWA has stated that they would prefer to reduce this time period in future rulemakings, so an accelerated schedule is a possibility.
List of proposed changes from the 2009 Edition
- Introduction and Part 1 - General
- Part 2 - Signs
- Part 3 - Markings
- Part 4 - Signals
- Part 5 - Automated Vehicles
- Part 6 - Temporary Traffic Control
- Part 7 - School Areas
- Part 8 - Railroad and Light Rail Transit
- Part 9 - Bicycles
- Other regulatory changes
- National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD). List of Approved Changes. Accessed December 2019.
- Office of the President. Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, January 30, 2017. Accessed December 2019.
- 2019 Unified Regulatory Agenda Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. View Rule: RIN 2125-AF85. Accessed December 2019.