MUTCD and California MUTCD

New version of the MUTCD coming soon!

The Federal Highway Administration announced the first comprehensive update to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) manual is forthcoming. This is the first major update since the 9th version of the MUTCD was released in 2009. The new manual will include 150 Official Experiments of novel traffic control devices and applications, Official Interpretations, Interim Approvals, and other research conducted both independently and by the Traffic Control Device Consortium Pooled Fund. 

The Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) gathered public comment on the manual between December 14, 2020 and May 14, 2021. The FHWA also held four public webinars to inform the public on the revision process and how to let their thoughts be included in the final product. The recordings of the webinars are now available to view here

Be sure to follow the MUTCD’s news feed to stay up to date on the release of the manual. If you’d like to see the proposed manual and the public comments garnered during the comment period, you can head to the Regulations site for more information.

What's the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)?

The Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) sets the minimum standards governing all traffic control devices to improve safety and mobility for all roadway users and improve efficiency in the transportation system. The MUTCD is maintained by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and is revised periodically with inputs from practitioners, agencies and other stakeholders. 

Technical AssistanceNon-compliance of the MUTCD can ultimately result in loss of federal-aid funds as well as significant increase in tort liability. The FHWA process to incorporate new devices and applications in the MUTCD involves the Federal Register rulemaking activity, to which any interested person or organization may provide input by submitting comments to the docket. Input from practitioners and all other stakeholders is very critical in keeping the MUTCD current and relevant.

Because the MUTCD is continually being updated and control devices are continually being introduced and evaluated, the FHWA maintains a table that lists the status of various bicycle-related signs, markings, signals, and other treatments as to whether they have been incorporated into the latest edition or whether they are considered experimental. Treatments that are not in the MUTCD or included in this table do not have standing with the FHWA.

What's the current version of the Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)?

The 2009 MUTCD with Revisions 1 and 2 is the official current edition. 

What sections of the MUTCD are most relevant to bicycle safety? 

The section that is most relevant to bicycle safety is Part 9 Traffic Control for Bicycle Facilities.

What is the intended audience of the MUTCD?

The MUTCD audience includes, but is not limited to:

  • State and local highway agencies,
  • public officials,
  • owners of private roads open to public travel,
  • the insurance industry,
  • law enforcement agencies,
  • incident management personnel,
  • maintenance personnel,
  • academic institutions,
  • private industry,
  • and planning, construction and engineering organizations.

California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ( CA MUTCD): 

Cover of the California MUTCDAs of March 30, 2021, the California Department of Transportation has made edits, referred to as Revision 6 (Rev 6), to the 2014 edition of the the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (California MUTCD), to provide for uniform standards and specifications for all official traffic control devices in California. This action was taken pursuant to the provisions of California Vehicle Code Section 21400 and the recommendation of the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC). The Department requested and has received a letter to confirm substantial conformance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for California MUTCD 2014 edition.

The revised CA MUTCD 2014 Rev 6 includes FHWA’s MUTCD 2009 Edition, and revised in May 2012, as amended for use in California. The CA MUTCD 2014, Rev 6, also includes policies on traffic control devices issued by the Department since March 27, 2020, and other corrections and format changes.

The revised CA MUTCD 2014 edition supersedes and replaces the previously adopted (on January 13, 2012) California MUTCD as well as Chapters 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, and the traffic signals portion of chapter 9 of the 1996 Caltrans Traffic Manual, as amended, and all previous editions thereof. 

Summary of Changes (to the CA MUTCD 2014 edition)

Entire revised manual 

Part 9 of the CA MUTCD (Traffic Control for Bicycle Facilities)