On Monday, January 25, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the termination of the Interim Approval for Use of Clearview Font and immediately discontinued the use of alternate lettering style on traffic-control signs, other than the FHWA Standard Alphabet series.
Issued in September 2004, Interim Approval 1A-5 was implemented “with the goal of improving the legibility of highway signs,” according to the notice published by the FHWA.
However, the Interim Approval was authored “in a way that would allow narrower letter forms," ultimately showing no clear benefit when compared to the original FHWA Standard Alphabet.
The FHWA focuses on the uniformity of all its traffic-control devices listed in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
And although the average motorist will seldom notice the difference of the two fonts while operating a vehicle, it may require an additional glance toward a sign, meaning less of a focus on the road.
Signs that currently display the Clearview font do not need to be replaced, as long as they comply with the original Interim Approval 1A-5 requirements and remain in good condition. However, when a sign does require replacement, it must use the FHWA Standard Alphabet series.
- Private road signage must also use the FHWA Standard Alphabet Series
- All current Clearview Font road signs are grandfathered in and can remain as is
- Canada will continue to allow the use of Clearview font