Status of Rulemaking for the Eleventh Edition of the MUTCD
March 2, 2022
A Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) to issue a new edition of the MUTCD was published in the Dec. 14, 2020, Federal Register for public comment. The more than 17,000 entries submitted to the public docket will be considered and will inform this rulemaking action and the 11th Edition of the MUTCD. These 17,000 docket entries comprise more than 35,000 individual comments on the proposed changes.
How does the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act affect the MUTCD?
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which directs USDOT to update the MUTCD by no later than May 15, 2023, and at least every 4 years thereafter. FHWA is working to issue the 11th Edition of the MUTCD within the statutory timeframe and, thereafter, regular updated editions to keep pace with innovation and current practices and, in accordance with the new statutory language, to promote the safety, inclusion, and mobility of all road users.
FHWA will also ensure that the 11th Edition of the MUTCD will, as provided in Section 11135 of the new law and to the greatest extent practicable, “include updates necessary to provide for--
- the protection of vulnerable road users (as defined in section 148(a) of title 23, United States Code);
- supporting the safe testing of automated vehicle technology and any preparation necessary for the safe integration of automated vehicles onto public streets;
- appropriate use of variable message signs to enhance public safety;
- the minimum retroreflectivity of traffic control devices and pavement markings; and
- any additional recommendations made by the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that have not been incorporated into the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
What’s happening now?
FHWA is leading the process to analyze all comments as expeditiously as possible. A deliberative process that engages Department-wide expertise ensures that your comments—representing diverse perspectives on a variety of concerns—are all evaluated and considered and incorporated into the 11th Edition of the MUTCD as appropriate. All comments are being considered in a manner consistent with the newly enacted statutory framework of promoting the safety, inclusion, and mobility of all road users, including vulnerable road users.
While FHWA continues to work toward a new edition of the MUTCD that reflects the comments received and the new statutory mandate, we’re also looking beyond the current rulemaking effort. Many of you have expressed strong interest in how future editions of the MUTCD are shaped. FHWA plans to initiate activities to engage with the public about the future of the MUTCD beyond the 11th Edition and how to meet the statutory requirement for more frequent updates. And of course, we continue to evaluate requests for experimentation and interpretation of the MUTCD. Stay tuned here for more information, and be sure to sign up for our e-Subscribe service to receive bulletins about new opportunities to participate in the process.
About the proposed 11th Edition.
FHWA’s MUTCD Team conducted a series of informational Webinars covering some of the more impactful aspects of the NPA. If you missed the Webinar series, you're in luck—you can still access the recordings at the MUTCD Web site.