A traffic signal can improve safety and reduce delay for users of the intersection, or a traffic signal can increase the number of crashes and cause excessive delay. For a traffic signal to have a positive effect, it must be properly located and maintained. Traffic Signal Warrants exist to provide minimum qualifications for installing a traffic signal. Adhering to these minimum qualifications prevents many traffic signals from being installed where they would have a negative impact.
As mentioned above, these Warrants are minimum qualifications, and satisfaction of one or more warrants does not require the installation of a traffic signal. The criteria for the nine Traffic Signal Warrants take into consideration traffic volumes, pedestrians, school crossings, crash experience, and traffic signal networks. Click here for a brief description of the Traffic Signal Warrants. Engineering judgment by a professional engineer should be the final determining factor in deciding if a traffic signal should be installed.
Every three to five years, existing traffic signals should be evaluated to determine if they are still justified. Traffic conditions can and will change, sometimes making another form of intersection control, such as stop signs, safer and more efficient. If a traffic signal is considered for removal, a lengthy study process will be initiated to ensure that removing the traffic signal will be an improvement and will not jeopardize the safety of the intersection.
District 7 has created procedures to evaluate the need for traffic signals. The intention is to clarify and streamline the processes to improve efficiency and consistency. Links to these procedures are available below. A link has also been included that contains information and forms relating specifically to traffic signals located on state routes in villages.
For more information, the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (OMUTCD) and the Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM) can be accessed online at www.dot.state.oh.us under the Design Reference Resource Center. These manuals are the primary source of the information in this policy. The Office of Traffic Engineering also has a website of Frequently Asked Questions for Traffic Signals. ODOT’s policy for the installation of traffic signals and beacons on state highways (Policy 516-002) can also be accessed online.
Further inquiries should be directed to Craig Eley, P.E., District 7 Traffic Engineer. He can be contacted by phone at (937) 497-6832 or by email at Craig.Eley@dot.state.oh.us.