The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), approved by the Federal Highway Administration, sets a national standard for the installation, posting, and marking of all traffic signs. Although this is a federal standard and the individual states are not mandated to comply, federal funding for highways will be denied to any state that does not adopt these guidelines. Consequently, as a New Jersey traffic ticket attorney  can assure you, all states laws have enacted these guidelines as state law, including New Jersey.

The specific areas addressed by the MUTCD are:

  1. Signs,
  2. Markings,
  3. Highway traffic signals,
  4. Traffic control devices for low-volume roads,
  5. Temporary traffic control,
  6. Traffic control for school areas,
  7. Traffic control for railroad and light rail transit grade crossings, and
  8. Traffic control for bicycle facilities.

MUTCD standards, as indicated by a New Jersey traffic attorney, include the use of uniform traffic control devices (TCDs) in such considerations as messages, location, size, shapes, and colors.

As a practical matter, you may be able to successfully fight a traffic citation you received if the alleged violation involved circumstances where the sign or road markings were not properly posted. A citation based upon any sign or marking that is improper must be dismissed. Some common examples include;

  1. The markings on the road or the lines on the road were not clear or were placed incorrectly;
  2. An incorrect speed limit was posted;
  3. An abrupt speed reduction without sufficient warning;
  4. The traffic sign was not visible (for example, obscured by tree growth); and
  5. The traffic sign was placed incorrectly (for example, too far away, too low, etc.).

If you suspect a violation of MUTCD standards may be a factor in your case, a New Jersey traffic ticket attorney can assist you in preparing a defense. The first step is to document, in detail, the scene of the alleged violation. Photographs, measurements and any witnesses can be employed to determine how the sign was actually posted. A comparison of MUTCD standards can then be made. If not in compliance, the ticket must be dismissed.

If you’ve been ticketed for a traffic violation in New Jersey, do not hesitate to get legal assistance from an experienced New Jersey traffic ticket attorney. Call Dan Matrafajlo today at (908) 248-4404 to schedule a free initial consulation.

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