- News & Insights
- Abington's Next Century
- Billboards in Abington?
- Epilepsy Awareness
- 2012 General Election
- Order Rain Barrels
- Upcoming Events
- Cleaning up the Park
- 2012 Traffic Summit
- Wawa Under Review
- Brandolini Archive
- Election Archive
- Equality for All
- Mission & History
- Register or Join
- Board of Governors
- Greenbaum Award
- Terms & Policies
- News & Insights
- Photo Gallery
- Maps of the Area
- Local Volunteer Opportunities
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Educational Institutions
- Arts, Culture & Environment
- Recreation & Youth Activities
Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
Traffic Laws, Policies & Regulations
There are a number of constraints that Abington Township must operate within to comply with the law at the federal and state levels. Within the Commonwealth, District 6-0 covers Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Philadelphia and Delaware counties.
District 6-0 – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)
PennDOT's Services provides traffic engineering and support; services and programs for municipalities; surveys; the review and study of subsurface conditions (geotechnical); and coordination with local utilities.
District 6-0 Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Our roads are becoming increasingly congested. What can PennDOT do to stem the growth of traffic in our region?
A. Unfortunately, PennDOT can do little to control the development that leads to the ever increasing traffic in our area. Land use planning and the approval of subdivisions, shopping centers and other commercial and industrial construction in Pennsylvania is primarily the responsibility of local municipalities.
Q. How do I get a speed limit changed?
A. Requests to change the speed limit should be sent to the District Traffic Engineer or District Administrator. It must state the nature of the request and the specific location. The municipality must also indicate its willingness to purchase, erect and maintain the signs if the posted speed will be 35 mph or less. PennDOT will erect and maintain speed limit signs over 40 mph.
Q. How do I get a traffic signal installed?
A. Traffic signals - except ramp meters - and other flashing warning devices on state and locally owned highways in Pennsylvania are paid for and maintained by the municipality in which they are located. Keep in mind, however, that the location in question must meet certain minimum warrants before a signal can be installed. Please contact the appropriate municipal office to further discuss your request.
Q. How can I get a copy of an existing traffic signal permit plan?
A. Make a request to the municipal signals section and state why you need the plan. FAX request to 610-205-6598
Q. Our municipality has already applied to PennDOT for a permit to install a signal. How do I get information on the status of that application?
A. Due to the large number of requests for traffic signal studies and the work required to complete those studies, the approximate processing time for an analysis is three months from receipt of the request.
Q. Is information on existing traffic signals available to the general public?
A. Permits, plans and diagrams are available for public review by contacting the appropriate municipality.
Q. How do I get a stop sign installed?
A. Like traffic signals, stop signs are the responsibility of the municipality in which they are located. Again, please contact the city, township or borough of the location in question.
Q. Why can't I 'time' the signal cycles at certain intersections.
A. Newer signal systems usually are 'actuated', that is, equipped with loop sensors implanted in the pavement. When those sensors detect the presence of vehicles waiting at the light, they trigger a cycling mechanism in the signal controller. This sends the signal through its green-yellow-red cycle. If there is no side street activity at these intersections, the signal for the main road remains green.
Q. How can I get three or four way stop signs installed at an intersection in our neighborhood?
A. Stop signs are intended to assign right of way at certain intersections, not to control speeding. Multi-way stop intersections are permitted on state highways provided that one or more of the warrants used for determining traffic signal placement are satisfied. However, simply meeting warrants does not compel the installation of three- or four-way stop signs. On state highways, the municipality must request a multi-way study at an intersection by writing to the District Traffic Engineer or District Administrator.
Summary/Highlights of Sections contained within Publication 212:
Official Traffic Control Devices
PennDOT, Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering
§ 212.2. Adoption of Federal standards
Pennsylvania complies with Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
§ 212.3. Pennsylvania's Supplement to the MUTCD (Download PDF here)
1. How to determine various elements associated with engineering and traffic studies.
2. How to obtain crash rates for various types of roads.
3. How to measure the various types of sight distance.
4. Where National study data is located.
§ 212.4. Application
B. New Restrictions: Except as noted in §§ 212.109 and 212.117 (relating to bridge speed limits; and weight, size and load restrictions), engineering and traffic studies can be performed by police officers, roadmasters, maintenance supervisors or traffic technicians. The establishment or revision of a traffic restriction may be warranted if one of the following applies:
1. One or more of the engineering and traffic study warrants covered in this chapter justifies the traffic restriction.
2. Sound engineering judgment based upon a combination of all data sources substantiates the need for the restriction.
C. Removal of an existing restriction. The removal of an existing traffic restriction may be warranted if one of the following applies:
1. A study indicates that none of the engineering and traffic study warrants covered in this chapter justify the existing traffic restriction.
2. The condition that originally justified the restriction no longer exists.
§ 212.7. Signs and banners across or within the legal limits of a State-designated highway.
A. Prohibition. It is unlawful to place any sign, marking or banner containing advertising matter of any kind on, across or within the right-of-way of any State-designated highway without the written consent of the Department.
B. Abatement. A sign, marking or banner containing advertising matter placed without the written consent of the Department will be declared to be a public nuisance and may be removed by the Department with or without notice to the persons responsible for the placing of the sign, marking or banner containing advertising matter.
§ 212.8. Use, test, approval and sale of traffic-control devices.
A. Statutory requirements. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 6127 (relating to dealing in nonconforming traffic-control devices), it is unlawful for a person to manufacture, sell, offer for sale or lease for use on the highway, any traffic-control device unless it has been approved and is in accordance with this title.
B. Devices requiring Department approval. Department approval is required prior to the sale or use of the following types of traffic-control devices on any highway:
(1) Delineation devices, including flexible delineator posts, guide rail and barrier-mounted delineators and raised pavement markers.
(2) Pavement marking materials including paint, epoxy, polyesters, methyl methacrylate, thermoplastic, preformed tapes and glass beads.
(3) Retroreflective sheeting materials used for traffic-control devices.
(4) Traffic signal equipment, including the following:
(i) Controller units.
(ii) Signal heads--lane-use traffic-control, pedestrian, and vehicle.
(iii) Detectors – pedestrian and vehicle.
(iv) Load switches.
(v) Flasher units.
(vi) Time clocks.
(viii) Preemption and priority control equipment.
(ix) Electrically-powered signs--variable speed limit signs, blank-out signs and internally illuminated signs, including School Speed Limit Signs.
(x) Portable traffic-control signals.
(xi) Local intersection coordinating units.
(xii) Dimming devices.
(xiii) In-roadway warning lights.
(xiv) Auxiliary devices and systems.
(5) Traffic signs and the associated breakaway sign supports.
(6) Work zone traffic-control devices, including the following:
(i) Arrow panels.
(iii) Citizen band traffic alert radios.
(v) Crash cushions.
(vii) Portable changeable message signs.
(viii) Portable traffic sign supports.
(ix) Speed display signs, as used to inform motorists of the speed of their vehicles.
(x) Stop/slow paddles.
(xi) Temporary pavement marking tapes.
(xii) Temporary traffic barrier.
(xiii) Tubular markers.
(xiv) Variable speed limit signs.
(xv) Vertical panels.
(xvi) Warning lights.
(7) Yield to pedestrian channelizing devices, which are designed for placement between lanes of traffic to remind motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
C. Approval procedure. A manufacturer or person desiring approval for the sale, use or lease of one or more of the devices listed in subsection (b) shall contact the Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering.
D. Listing of approved traffic-control devices. Approved traffic-control devices will be listed in the Department's Approved Construction Materials (Department Publication 35), available from the Department's Sales Store or through the Department's website.
§ 212.9. Traffic calming.
A. General policy. The Department on State-designated highways, and local authorities on any highway within their boundaries, may implement traffic calming measures in conformance with Pennsylvania's Traffic Calming Handbook (Department Publication 383).
B. Department approval. Local authorities shall obtain approval of the Department prior to implementing a traffic calming measure on a State-designated highway, except when the Department's handbook provides otherwise or when the Department has entered into an agreement with local authorities that provides otherwise.
§ 212.10. Requests for changes, interpretations or permission to experiment.
A local authority may submit a request to the Department for a change or an interpretation of the provisions of this chapter, or for approval to use an alternate device or to experiment with a device in a way not provided for in this chapter.
1. The request must be submitted in writing to the Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering.
2. The request must include information in accordance with Section 1A.10 of the MUTCD
§ 212.101. Official signs.
A. Approved signs. Official traffic signs are identified in the Pennsylvania Handbook of Approved Signs (Department Publication 236M) which includes sign standards that show the shape, color, dimensions, legends, application and placement of official signs.
§ 212.102. Sign manufacturers.
Only signs manufactured by the Department or a Department-approved sign manufacturer shall be used on any highway.
§ 212.106. Additional warrants for Stop Signs (R1-1) and Yield Signs (R1-2).
(a) Through highways. The Department and local authorities may designate highways as through highways to permit more continuous movement and less delay to the major flow of traffic.
(1) Stop Signs (R1-1) or Yield Signs (R1-2) may be installed at all approaches to the through highway to provide preferential right-of-way at intersections.
(2) The designation of a highway as a through highway does not prevent modification of the right-of-way assignment at intersections of the through highway.
(3) The justification for the modification at a particular intersection will be based on the warrants in the MUTCD and the additional warrants in subsection (b), (c) or (d).
(b) Stop Signs (R1-1) at intersections. In addition to the warrants for stop signs in the MUTCD (relating to stop sign applications), a Stop Sign (R1-1) may be installed on a channelized right-turn roadway at a signalized intersection where the traffic-control signals are not readily visible, and the right-turn roadway does not have separate signals, and a Yield Sign (R1-2) is not appropriate.
(c) Multiway stop applications. In addition to the criteria and options warranting multiway stop applications in the MUTCD, the following apply:
(1) The five or more reported crashes in a 12-month period for Warrant B may include both reportable crashes, and nonreportable crashes that are documented in the police files, that occurred during a 12-month period during the most recent 3 years of available crash data.
(2) Multiway stop applications may not be used because of limited available corner sight distance unless there is no practical method of improving the sight distance or reducing the speed limit to satisfy the minimum corner sight distance values.
§ 212.108. Speed limits.
(a) General. This section applies to maximum speed limits established according to 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 3362 and 3363 (relating to maximum speed limits; and alteration of maximum limits). Engineering and traffic studies are not required for statutory speed limits, but documentation should be on file for urban districts and residence districts to show that the requirements defined in the Vehicle Code are satisfied.
(b) Engineering and traffic studies. Speed limits established in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 3363 may be established in multiples of 5 miles per hour up to the maximum lawful speed. The speed limit should be within 5 miles per hour of the average 85th percentile speed or the safe-running speed on the section of highway, except the speed limit may be reduced up to 10 miles per hour below either of these values if one or more of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) A major portion of the highway has insufficient stopping sight distance if traveling at the 85th percentile speed or the safe-running speed.
(2) The available corner sight distance on side roads is less than the necessary stopping sight distance values for through vehicles.
(3) The majority of crashes are related to excessive speed and the crash rate during a minimum 12-month period is greater than the applicable rate in the most recent high-crash rate or high-crash severity rate table included in the appendix of Official Traffic-Control Devices (Department Publication 212). Crashes related to excessive speed include those crashes with causation factors of driving too fast for conditions, turning without clearance or failing to yield right-of-way.
(c) Variable speed limits. To improve safety, speed limits may be changed as a function of traffic speeds or densities, weather or roadway conditions or other factors.
(d) Special speed limits. (1) Within a rest area or welcome center, a 25 mile per hour speed limit may be established without the need for an engineering and traffic study if pedestrians walk across the access roadways between the parking lot and the rest facilities.
(2) Within a toll plaza or a truck weight station, an appropriate speed limit may be established without an engineering and traffic study by the authorities in charge to enforce the safety of the operations or to protect the scales.
(e) Posting of speed limits. A Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) or variable speed limit sign showing the maximum speed limit shall be placed on the right side of the highway at the beginning of each numerical change in the speed limit, but an additional sign may also be installed on the left side of the highway. If the new speed limit begins at an intersection, the first sign should be installed within 200 feet beyond the intersection. The placement of this sign must satisfy both the requirement to post the beginning of the new speed limit and the requirement to post the end of the previous speed limit. Additional requirements for posting are as follows:
(1) Speed limits of 50 miles per hour or less shall be posted as follows:
(i) A Reduced Speed (____) Ahead Sign (R2-5), or a Speed Reduction Sign (W3-5), shall be placed on the right side of the highway 500 to 1,000 feet before the beginning of every speed reduction unless one of the following applies:
(A) The speed reduction is 10 miles per hour or less.
(B) The speed reduction begins at an intersection and all traffic entering the roadway with the speed reduction has to either stop at a Stop Sign (R1-1) or make a turn.
(C) The new speed limit is posted on variable speed limit signs.
(ii) Speed Limit Signs (R2-1) or a variable speed limit sign showing the maximum speed shall be placed on the right side of the highway at the beginning of the speed limit and at intervals not greater than 1/2 mile throughout the area with the speed limit.
(iii) The end of a speed limit is typically identified by the placement of a sign indicating a new speed limit, but the End Plaque (R2-10) may be placed above a Speed Limit Sign (R2-1) at the end of the zone if the appropriate speed limit is not known on the following section of roadway.
§ 212.111. Turn restriction warrants.
A straight-through or turning movement may be restricted if the movement can be made at an alternate location, and if one or more of the following conditions are present:
(1) A review of vehicle crashes shows that ten crashes have occurred during the previous 3 years, or five crashes have occurred during any 12-month period in the previous 3 years that can be attributed to vehicles making or attempting to make the movement.
(2) When a capacity analysis or field review of the intersection indicates that turning or crossing vehicles are causing unreasonable delays or creating a potential crash situation for through vehicles.
(3) When a field review of the intersection indicates that significant conflicts occur between vehicles making or attempting to make a particular movement and other vehicular or pedestrian movements.
(4) When a field review of the intersection indicates that a turn or straight-through movement delays the platoon of vehicles through a progressive signal system.
(5) When a field review of the intersection indicates that the geometric design or the available corner sight distance does not adequately provide for the movement or the movement frequently cannot be safely executed.
(6) A study shows that the turning movement is frequently being made by through traffic onto a residential street to avoid downstream congestion.
§ 212.112. Signs to prohibit passing.
The No Passing Zone Pennant (W14-3) is the primary sign to identify the beginning of a no-passing zone on a two-lane highway and shall be installed on the left side of the road. The Do Not Pass Sign (R4-1) may be installed on the right side of the roadway to supplement the No Passing Zone Pennant Sign (W14-3). The Pass With Care Sign (R4-2) may be installed at the end of the no-passing zone. Warrants for no-passing zones are included in § 212.202 (relating to no-passing zones).
§ 212.118. Street name signs.
For street name signs, white lettering on a green background is recommended, but local authorities may use white lettering on blue or brown background, or black lettering on white background, provided the same colors are used systematically throughout the municipality. To improve sign legibility, upper and lower case lettering is recommended.
§ 212.202. No-passing zones.
(a) Additional warrants on two-lane, two-way highways. In addition to the sight distance warrant in Section 3B.02 of the MUTCD (relating to no-passing zone pavement marking and warrants), no-passing zones may be established at the following locations on two-lane, two-way highways with center line pavement markings:
(1) In advance of a divided highway or an obstruction such as a bridge support pillar, a channelizing island or a safety zone, which separates the two lanes of traffic.
(2) On or within, and in advance of any bridge, tunnel or underpass designated as a narrow bridge or underpass in accordance with § 212.1 (relating to definitions).
(3) In advance of a Stop Sign (R1-1), Yield Sign (R1-2) or traffic signal.
(4) On the approach to an intersection where passing may be undesirable due to the high number of crossing or turning movements.
(5) Within a school zone.
(6) In areas where an analysis of vehicle crashes shows an unusually high number of passing-related crashes.
(7) In areas where the roadside development includes many driveways and intersections where passing would create frequent potential conflicts.
(8) At locations where the roadway width is very restrictive, shoulders are nonexistent or in poor condition, the roadway cross-section has an excessive crown, or obstacles are close to the roadway.
(9) In areas where traffic volumes are very heavy and there would be very limited opportunities for motorists to pass other vehicles.
(10) At locations where a passing zone would otherwise be less than 600 feet in length.
(11) At locations where engineering judgment indicates that allowing passing is undesirable because a better passing area exists farther ahead.
(b) Minimum advance distance. No passing zones established according to subsection (a)(1)--(5) must precede the location by the minimum distance noted in the following table: Speed Limit or 85thPercentile Speed (mph)
35 or less
Crash analysis. This is the orderly review and evaluation of the root causes of crashes involving vehicles or pedestrians at a given location or within a given area along a highway. The term “crash” only includes reportable crashes as defined in Chapter 212, except when the term “nonreportable crash” is explicitly used.
• Total number of crashes during last 5 years.
• Number of crashes by type or causation factor.
• Vehicle type involved.
• Pedestrian involvement.
• Type of traffic control present.
• Roadway or intersection geometrics.
• Cause of crash.
• Time of crash.
• Environmental conditions—rain, snow, fog, ice, clear, sunny, dry roadway, wet roadway, snow on roadway, ice on roadway, and so forth.
Crash rate – is calculated from the number of all reportable crashes per million vehicle miles traveled along a specific segment of roadway
Fatality crash rate – is calculated from the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled along a specific segment of roadway
Comparing crash rates to the homogenous table – the homogenous crash rate table for road segments is provided each year by Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering.
References to useful documents
• MUTCD 2003: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003/pdf-index.htm
• Older Drivers – “Travel Better, Travel Longer: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/PocketGuide0404.pdf
• Retroreflective Sheeting ID Guide: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/retro/sign/retrore_sheet_id.htm
• Crash Facts and Statistics: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBHSTE.nsf/InfoFbListing?OpenForm
• Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual: https://www.dot3.state.pa.us/pdotforms/pa_forms_manuals/padriversman.pdf
• PennDOT’s pavement marking, RPMs & Delineators standards, TC-8600 Series: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBHSTE.nsf/BHSTEHomepage?Op... Then click on Traffic Control Standards.
• Traffic Calming: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBHSTE.nsf/BHSTEHomepage?Op... Then click on Traffic Calming Handbook.
0 comments by Members are their personal opinions (see RMCA policies)
Penn State Abington
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
- MADD Continues Focus on Proven Drunk Driving Prevention Efforts to Save Lives and Prevent Injuries
- 25th Anniversary of Worst Drunk Driving Crash in U.S. History Marked with Memorial Event and New Film Exploring Stories of Loss and Healing
- MADD Analysis Finds Majority of Underage Drinking Deaths Not Traffic Related