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Bipartisan House duo writes highway authorities expressing concern over traffic safety sign rule

Reps. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) and Thomas Kean Jr. (R-N.J.) wrote a letter to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) administrator, Shailen Bhatt, expressing their concern about “unnecessary federal overreach” over a federal traffic safety rule.

Stanton posted the letter to his account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter Thursday, and said that “unnecessary federal overreach might mean states like Arizona and New Jersey can’t use humorous traffic safety signs.”

The letter references a recently-released manual from the FHWA that says some road signs cannot display messages with “obscure” or “secondary meanings” like those that have pop culture references or are trying to be funny “should not be used.”

“[T]hey might be misunderstood or understood only by a limited segment of road users and require greater time to process and understand,” the manual reads. “Similarly, slogan-type messages and the display of statistical information should not be used.”

In their letter, the two representatives say that while safety “is our highest priority for our constituents traveling on our roadways, we have concerns about this guidance.” They state that they think signage on the roads can still be done “with humor” and keep “the attention of drivers on the road.”

“As members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, we understand that part of the role of State Departments of Transportation includes tailoring messaging for their residents. They oversee the state and know what works for their drivers,” the letter continues. “The expertise and oversight of the FHWA is important for highway safety, but our State DOTs create state-specific communications that ensure our local residents know what is happening and stay safe.”

Kean and Stanton also request answers to questions on the reasoning behind the decision by early February in the letter.

Source: The Hill

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