On June 17, 2021, The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) released a new Sixth Edition of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC). A foundational document of TAC, this new publication is an essential tool for all professionals involved in traffic management and control. It conveys optimum guidance and preferred methods in the design, dimensions and application of devices for the control of traffic and the provision of information to drivers and other road users. This is accomplished by providing information and diagrams on traffic signs, signals, pavement markings and temporary conditions, offering guidance on types, use and placement for each.
Technical guidelines and standards are a critical tool for creating and operating a Safe System. Traffic control devices inform road users of safe regulations, warn of upcoming hazards, and help prevent or manage conflicts at intersections. In the development of the 6th Edition of the MUTCDC, a dedicated effort was made to prioritize safety performance ahead of speed and capacity performance.
The Manual's primary target audience is: road designers, transportation planners, traffic engineers and road operators.
This information is useful for road safety professionals who do not belong to the primary target audience, to provide greater insight into how decisions are made regarding the operation of the road infrastructure, including how both uniformity and context-sensitivity promote road safety performance.
The 6th Edition of the MUTCDC more effectively addressed safety than previous editions by: 1)including a discussion of the safety effects of traffic control devices; 2)explicitly considering the needs of each road user group, through human factors principles; 3)a modified structure of the Manual for each device, which standardizes safety features that previously may have been optional in previous editions; and by 4)providing additional guidance on the content and placement of warning signs that are associated with more significant safety impacts. Examples will be provided for each of the above types of safety enhancements to the Manual.
The MUTCDC is used by several thousands of traffic engineers, designers and technicians across Canada. It will be used to select the appropriate signs, signal and pavement markings, as well as their content, placement and other details. The anticipated result is that our roads will provide safer guidance and control for all road users.