An unusual traffic control device in City of Solon, Ohio
Had an informal chat with a couple of government officials, a Civil Engineer and an attorney who is the counsel for several government entities. It appears to me that attorneys examine traffic control devices within the frameworks of MUTCD and the discretionary or mandatory nature of the devices. This ties into political subdivision/government function which ties into government immunity or liability. Government function in Ohio is defined by Ohio Revised Code.
Governmental function means a function of a political subdivision (“political subdivision” or “subdivision” means a municipal corporation, township, county, school district, or other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities in a geographic area smaller than that of the state) that satisfies any of the following:
(a) A function that is imposed upon the state as an obligation of sovereignty and that is performed by a political subdivision voluntarily or pursuant to legislative requirement;
(b) A function that is for the common good of all citizens of the state;
(c) A function that promotes or preserves the public peace, health, safety, or welfare; that involves activities that are not engaged in or not customarily engaged in by nongovernmental persons.
I don’t know if ORC defines common good, public peace, health, safety or welfare. These are subjective measures. What is healthy in the opinion of one citizen (eating prepacked food or red meat for example) may be unhealthy in the opinion of another. What is safe (deer related traffic crashes for example) in the opinion of a lawmaker may be unsafe in the opinion of another. Recently my political subdivision adopted a legislation related to what constitutes employee fraud. If similar legislation related to peace, health, safety or welfare can be considered for possible adoption, it could perhaps result in streamlining of governance.
Definition of Traffic Control Devices as per Federal MUTCD
Traffic control devices shall be defined as all signs, signals, markings, and other devices used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic, placed on, over, or adjacent to a street, highway, pedestrian facility, bikeway, or private road open to public travel by authority of a public agency or official having jurisdiction, or, in the case of a private road, by authority of the private owner or private official having jurisdiction.
Definition of Traffic Control Devices as per Ohio MUTCD
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4511 (QQ) states that a traffic control device means a flagger, sign, signal, marking, or other device used to regulate, warn, or guide traffic, placed on, over, or adjacent to a street, highway, private road open to public travel, pedestrian facility, or shared-use path by authority of a public agency or official having jurisdiction, or, in the case of a private road open to public travel, by authority of the private owner or private official having jurisdiction.
Definition of Traffic Control Devices as per City of Solon Ordinance
City of Solon’s Part 4 Traffic Code 402.48 states that traffic control devices means all flagpersons, signs, signals, markings, and devices placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic, including signs denoting names of streets and highways.
If flag persons are also traffic control devices as per ORC, this rationale could be extended to any government official (a police officer or school crossing guard or a contractor’s employee performing government work) who engages in traffic regulation and guidance? I think law is intricate and complex and so legal issues are best handled by specialist attorneys. Having said that, the importance and intricacies of MUTCD is highlighted by: → continue reading Engineering and Legal Aspects of Ohio MUTCD