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Traffic
(772) 871-5100
TDD (772) 344-4002

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Traffic Operations Division

traffic control devices

The State of Florida has set forth traffic control regulations in Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes, and, except where specifically permitted within the statutes, all local governments must follow this code.

The basic reference in the code is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) issued by the Federal Highway Administration. The MUTCD has been endorsed by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and is used as the basis for much of the case law pertaining to traffic control devices that has been decided in the United States over the past several decades.

Traffic control devices include traffic signals, traffic signs (e.g., stop signs and speed limit signs), and traffic pavement markings. The MUTCD contains all the design, application, placement, standards, guidance, options and support provisions for traffic control devices. The purpose of the MUTCD is to provide uniformity of signs, signals and pavement markings in order to promote roadway safety and efficiency on streets and highways. Uniformity of devices aids road users in the recognition and understanding of traffic control devices and reduces perception/reaction time. The MUTCD explains the term uniformity by stating that "Uniformity means treating similar situations in a similar way". The MUTCD also states that traffic control"devices should be designed so that features such as size, shape, color, composition, lighting or retroreflection, and contrast are combined to draw attention to the devices; that size, shape, color and simplicity of message combine to produce a clear meaning; that legibility and size combined with placement, permit adequate time for response; that uniformity, size, legibility, and reasonableness of the message combine to command respect" and that such traffic control device actually fulfills a need.

There are five basic requirements for all traffic control devices. They must:

  1. Fulfill a need
  2. Command attention
  3. Convey a clear, simple message
  4. Command respect of road users
  5. Give adequate time for proper response

The MUTCD applies to all roads and streets in the United States and is the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any highway, street, bikeway or private road that is open to public travel.