The Traffic Improvement Association (TIA) is a non-profit traffic safety organization in Oakland County, Michigan. TIA was organized in 1967 by community leaders to address adverse traffic safety issues facing Oakland County.Below are some fact sheets made available by TIA to aid in understanding various traffic safety issues. To learn more about the Traffic Improvement Association, please visit their website.
Flashing Yellow Arrow Left Turn Signals
A new style of left-turn signal is being seen on roads throughout the state of Michigan. The new style signal is known as "flashing-yellow-arrow left-turn signal” (FYA left-turn signal), and offers a safer, more efficient way to handle traffic turning left at busy intersections...
Won't a "Children at Play" Sign Help Protect Our Kids?
At first consideration, it might seem that this sign would provide protection for youngsters playing in a neighborhood. It doesn’t. Studies conducted in cities where such signs were widely posted in residential areas show no evidence of having reduced pedestrian crashes, vehicles’ speeds or legal liability...
To Install or Not To Install; That is the Question
Efforts to achieve an acceptable balance between good practice and good politics in government is a universal problem. Elected officials’ challenge in weighing acceptable practice against politics most often surfaces in requests for traffic signs and signals. There are few issues that more frequently divide traffic authorities and elected public officials. The installation of a “political” sign or signal, one which does not meet established warrants, may satisfy a small group, but the problems created in non-compliance, risk, liability and in the public’s loss of respect for the traffic engineering process are significant and lasting...
Mailboxes: A Safety Concern?
Mailbox installation may seem simple, but residents need to think about safety before they install a new mailbox. Mailboxes that are set firmly into the ground, and/or have large posts, can become a fixed object hazard. Mailboxes that are not fixed properly to their support can break loose and become dangerous projectiles, endangering motorists and residents...
Why Not Lower the Speed Limit to Reduce Traffic Crashes in Our Area?
Speed limits should be set so that the majority of drivers observe them voluntarily and law enforcement can be directed to the few speed violators. An unrealistically low speed limit can actually lead to crashes. Here’s why..
Some Communities Use Speed Bumps. Why Can't We?
A speed bump is a bump of asphalt about a foot wide, 3 to 4 inches high, and placed laterally across the traveled portion of the road. The speed bump poses an increased hazard to the unwary….A challenge to the daredevil….A disruption of the movement of emergency vehicles…. The cause of an undesirable increase in noise….And a real problem for snow removal...
How Do Officials Establish Our Speed Limits?
Hundreds of studies conducted over several decades in all parts of the country clearly show that a large majority of drivers tend to operate their vehicles at speeds that are reasonable and proper, regardless of the posted speeds. This is the first, most critical factor in establishing realistic speed limits. Posted speed limits that are set higher or lower than dictated by roadway and traffic conditions are ignored by most motorists...
Maybe a Stop Sign Will Slow Traffic On Our Street?
Stop signs installed in the wrong places for the wrong purposes usually create more problems than they solve. One common misuse of Stop signs is to arbitrarily interrupt traffic, either by causing it to stop or by causing such an inconvenience that motorists are forced to use other routes. Studies conducted in many parts of the country show that there is a high incidence of intentional violations where Stop signs are installed as “nuisances” or “speed breakers”...
A Traffic Signal Will Reduce Crashes at Our Intersection, Right?
Traffic signals don’t always reduce crashes. In many instances, the total number of crashes remains unchanged after signals are installed. However the severity of right angle crashes is exchanged for less injury producing rear end crashes...
Walk... Or Don't Walk? Those Signs Are So Confusing!
The operation of pedestrian signals (WALK and DON’T WALK) are often misunderstood. They are installed at signalized intersections to indicate to pedestrians when they should, or should not, walk across the street. The pedestrian indications can either be in text or symbol format. Pedestrian signals, similar to the three phases of vehicle signals (green, amber and red) also have three phases...
What Are Warrants For Traffic Control Devices?
A Warrant for any traffic control device (sign, signal or pavement marking) is the minimum criteria that must be met before such a device can be installed. Meeting a warrant does not mean a traffic control device must be installed. The Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices spells out these warrants to ensure that each device...
Can I Put Rocks Across My Lawn to Keep Cars Off My Grass?
Sometimes residents place rocks along the roadway in front of their homes to keep vehicles off their lawns. This is done primarily on residential streets that don’t have curbs. These rocks can be real safety hazards. If a vehicle leaves the roadway, rocks won’t stop these out-of-control vehicles, just damage them and possibly injure the occupants. A rock could be hit by a vehicle and become an uncontrollable missile, possibly injuring residents. Pedestrians, including children, can trip on rocks and possibly fall into the street...