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Several ANSI-Accredited SDOs Referenced in Revised U.S. Department of Transportation Manual

In recent years, policy makers and U.S. government agencies have increasingly turned to voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment solutions to meet their regulatory needs. The latest example of public sector reliance upon standards developed with a private-sector lead can be seen in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a document produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The MUTCD, which defines how road managers nationwide install and maintain traffic control devices, was recently revised with changes that will take effect on January 15, 2010. States must adopt the manual's guidelines within two years.

The revised manual includes references to several standards developers that are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Guidelines developed by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, are included as requirements for high-visibility apparel. Workers, including emergency responders, must wear high-visibility apparel whenever they are exposed to moving traffic, work vehicles, or construction equipment. The apparel must meet certain requirements found in ANSI/ISEA 107-2004, High Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear, an American National Standard (ANS).

The revised MUTCD also states that high-visibility safety vests for emergency responders and law enforcement personnel may alternately follow another ANS, ANSI/ISEA 207-2006, High Visibility Public Safety Vests. Additional sections of MUTCD refer to one or both of these ANS for use by flaggers, law enforcement personnel directing traffic in a work zone, and adult school crossing guards.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an ANSI member an audited designator, is also referenced in the MUTCD. The manual states that firefighters and other emergency responders engaged in operations that directly expose them to flame, fire, heat, and/or hazardous materials may wear retroreflective turnout gear that is specified by the NFPA and other organizations, as an alternative to gear that complies with ISEA standards.

In addition to the ISEA and NFPA guidelines, the MUTCD references a standard developed by NEMA, another ANSI member and accredited standards developer. NEMA TS 4:2005, Hardware standards for dynamic message signs (dms) with ntcip requirements, is listed as a useful resource for readers of the manual.

An ANS developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is included as well, as a source to find recommended types and locations of luminaries for illuminating grade crossings. ANSI/IESNA RP-8-00, Roadway Lighting, provides the design basis for lighting roadways, adjacent bikeways, and pedestrian ways.

From emergency preparedness to toy safety to traffic control devices, the public and private sectors are working together in partnership to assure the safety and well-being of Americans nationwide.

To read more about the public-private partnership, read the ANSI brochure Change Is Built on a Foundation of Strength, which is available at

For more information on the value of American National Standards, visit

The U.S. government's strong support of voluntary consensus standards is outlined in the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) (Public Law 104-113).

The NTTAA requires all federal agencies and departments to use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standard bodies, unless such use is impractical or inconsistent with law. To implement the Act, the Office of Management and Budget issued Circular A-119, which provides guidance to promote consistent application of the Act across federal agencies and departments.

For more information on ANSI's government affairs and outreach activities, click here.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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