LESSON 1/TASK 1
Certain information should be recorded for each traffic sign regardless of the purpose of the study. The
type of sign, e.g., stop, yield, right turn only, must be noted. The size and shape of the sign should be
described, as well as its color. If the sign is reflectorized or lighted or not can be very important. When
the sign is reflectorized or lighted, the team should indicate how. Some method of determining the
exact location of the sign must be used. Location data might be the street; distance from pavement or
curb; distance from an intersection; or similar method. The height of the sign should also be recorded.
Traffic signs cannot accomplish their purpose if they are not visible. The team should note the visibility
of the sign. This process should include things such as the condition of the sign itself, as well as
obstructions to its being readily seen by drivers.
Traffic signals are power operated devices that accomplish the same purpose as traffic signs. The type
of signal must be noted, to include whether it is fixed time, flashing, or full traffic actuated. Its location
and position must be recorded, as well as the size, color, and number of lights involved. The phasing
and the timing of each phase must also be noted. Phasing is the time the specific light is applicable to
each direction at an intersection. The timing of each phase is checked with a stopwatch. It is often
helpful to make sketches of signals in order to more easily understand their phasing, timing, and
sequence. While visibility is not normally a problem with traffic signals, it should be checked. Signals
at the side of a road can become obscured by trees and brush, for example. Signs, both traffic and
others, may have been placed in such a manner that they partially or totally obscure the traffic signal.
Signals may also become twisted on the pole. Overhead hanging devices may become twisted, or
knocked down, due to high winds.
Pavement Marking Study
Pavement markings must also be checked. The type of marking must be noted. This includes such
things as solid, double, or broken lines; left turn lanes; etc. As with signs and signals, pavement
markings are of little value if the vehicle operator is unable to see them. Their condition and
reflectiveness should be examined and recorded. The type of material that is used for the markings
should also be noted.