The purpose of the Handbook on Traffic Control Practices for Low Volume Roads in Indiana is to provide a guide to supplement the existing Manuals on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD ). Both the National and the Indiana MUTCDs provide general guidelines for the design, installation, and use of traffic control devices (signs, signals, and markings) on all roads and streets, but their main concern is with higher volume highways. Neither specifically addresses the operational and guidance problems associated with roads that carry fewer than 400 vehicles per day. This handbook's intent is to make these low volume roads safer by fostering greater consistency in traffic control practices in Indiana. It also promotes the more economical use of the limited funds available to local government agencies that are responsible for providing traffic control, and should lead to reduced costs to users of these low volume roads. Use of this guide should help a traffic engineer determine the amount of signing that, based on available research and experience, will provide adequate safety without excessive costs.

This hand book does not supercede any information contained in the two MUTCDs, but attempts to assist the traffic engineer in extending or supplementing their contents when applying them to low volume roads. This handbook should be used as a guide to the installation of traffic control devices, not as a legal basis for their use. No manual of this sort can foresee all possible situations that can occur. There is no substitute for the sound judgment of the traffic engineer. While it would be advantageous for users of this hand book to have access to a copy of the Indiana MUTCD (available from the Indiana Department of Highways), this handbook provides sufficient information and a uniform starting point on which to base that judgment.

This handbook is a compilation of generally accepted practice. Chapters 3 through 9 are designed to provide the most direct, yet flexible, guidelines possible for the major topics in traffic control on low volume roads. Chapter 2 is included to aid the user in understanding his responsibility with respect to several terms mentioned in the guidelines chapters. These terms -"engineering study", "field investigation", and "engineering judgment" -- refer to the user's need to verify that a specific situation is covered adequately by the guidelines and, if not, to modify those guidelines for the individual case. The National MUTCD [13] addresses this topic. Qualified engineers are needed to exercise the engineering judgment inherent in the selection of traffic control devices, just as they are needed to locate and design the roads and streets that the devices complement. Jurisdictions with responsibility for traffic control, that do not have qualified engineers on their staffs, should seek assistance from the State highway department, their county, a nearby large city, or a traffic consultant. Properly used, this hand book can form the basis for a systematic program of traffic control that protects the traveling public and government officials alike.


traffic control, low-volume roads, MUTCD

Date of this Version


Tech Report Number