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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Release of Millennium Edition Of Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Release of Millennium Edition Of Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Federal Highway Administration
January 10, 2001

Wednesday, January 10, 2001
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 3-01

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced the release of the millennium edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), the first full revision of the manual in 22 years.

"The changes to this manual will promote uniformity, incorporate new technology and control strategies, and improve traffic operations and safety, which is President Clinton and Vice President Gore’s highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said.

The MUTCD, which was first published in 1935, provides standards and guidelines for traffic control devices such as signs, signals, markings and devices placed on, over or adjacent to a street or a highway by authority of a public body that has jurisdiction to regulate, warn or guide traffic. Uniform traffic control devices help ensure highway safety by providing for the orderly and predictable movement of all traffic, motorized and non-motorized, throughout the nation.

The MUTCD was last revised in 1978, and the most recent updated edition appeared in 1988. Among the many changes in the millennium edition of the MUTCD are:

  • New signs and pavement markings to improve roadway safety and efficiency;
  • Changes in standards and guidance to provide for the needs of older drivers;
  • New sections, including Part 5 (rural roads) and Part 10 (light rail);
  • Major changes in Part 6 (work zones) to reduce delays around road work zones;
  • Additions to incorporate provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and
  • New provisions to assist pedestrians and bicyclists.

    The MUTCD will, for the first time, be available electronically. Users can obtain the new edition via the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) website at:

    "By making the MUTCD available to users electronically, we can provide wider distribution of the new edition and include updates more quickly and effectively," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "The format also has been changed to improve the overall organization and make it easier for the user to find information."

    The complete interactive MUTCD website will be online in spring 2001. The site will contain:

  • Extensive search capabilities;
  • Information on the amendment process;
  • Tutorials and educational materials;
  • The latest news on revisions, interpretations, and experimentations;
  • Information on the major changes with a side-by-side comparison of the changes between the millennium edition and the 1988 edition;
  • Answers to frequently asked questions;
  • Discussion groups on a variety of MUTCD subjects; and
  • Links to other MUTCD resources and to FHWA staff.

    Bound copies of the manual will be available for purchase in spring 2001. The Government Printing Office ( and major transportation and public works organizations will sell the manual in bound and CD-ROM versions.

    Part 8 of the MUTCD addresses traffic control devices at highway-rail grade crossings. For additional information, see the Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook. It is available on the Internet at .

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