What is a Traffic Signal Warrant?
The use of the word "warrant" in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is unfortunate since this word implies the idea of "sanctioned, needed, and approved". However these adjectives do not apply to the warrant guidelines in the MUTCD.*

The MUTCD has eight guidelines (called warrants), which establish certain minimum thresholds below which a traffic signal should not be installed. Satisfying one or more of these warrants does not mean that the city must or should install a traffic signal. In fact, the MUTCD states the following:
  • A traffic control signal should not be installed unless one or more of the factors described in this section are met.
  • A traffic control signal should not be installed unless an engineering study indicates that installing a traffic control signal will improve the overall safety and/or operation of the intersection.
  • A traffic control signal should not be installed if it will seriously disrupt progressive traffic flow.**
*Page 3, The Traffic Signal Book, Fred L. Orcutt, Jr. Prentice Hall, 1993
**Page 4C-1, MUTCD, Millenium Edition, Federal Highway Administration

Show All Answers

1. Why do I have to wait so long for a green light on a side street?
2. How do I report a problem with a traffic signal, lane markings, or traffic signs?
3. What should a driver do when approaching an intersection in which the traffic signal is not working?
4. How is the placement of traffic signals determined?
5. What is a Traffic Signal Warrant?
6. What are the Traffic Signal Warrants?
7. What is the justification for a left turn arrow?
8. How do pedestrian signals work?
9. Is it really necessary for me to push a button to activate the pedestrian signal, or can I just wait for the light to change?
10. Why does it always say "don't walk" before I've completed crossing the street?
11. Can I count on a safe crossing if I carefully follow the pedestrian signals?
12. What are the pedestrian rights and responsibilities when walking along or crossing a street?
13. When is a crosswalk unsafe?
14. Do marked crosswalks provide better pedestrian safety than unmarked crosswalks?
15. Why are the words "walk" and "don't walk" being replaced by symbols?
16. What is the roadside clear zone?
17. Why can't we use speed bumps on our block?
18. Are traffic control devices on private property required to meet State standards?
19. What is Florida law in regard to school speed zones and school buses?