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:
- Highway traffic signals,
- Traffic control devices for low-volume roads,
- Temporary traffic control,
- Traffic control for school areas,
- Traffic control for railroad and light rail transit grade crossings, and
- 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;
- The markings on the road or the lines on the road were not clear or were placed incorrectly;
- An incorrect speed limit was posted;
- An abrupt speed reduction without sufficient warning;
- The traffic sign was not visible (for example, obscured by tree growth); and
- 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.