High winds and hail. Blowing and plowed snow. Impacts from vehicles and falling rocks.
Clearly, traffic signs are put through a lot each year, especially in high traffic areas, mountainous passes and valley roads where impacts are most common.
Over time, standard LED-enhanced traffic signs may succumb to these rigorous conditions, resulting in premature failure that creates a safety hazard for road users and huge expenses for agencies.
Fortunately, many agencies recognize that ruggedized signs – specifically designed to endure the elements and extend the life of the sign – are an invaluable tool to leverage. Here’s why.
The Meaning of Ruggedized
Ruggedized signs are standard or LED-enhanced traffic signs comprised of a three-layer design: a front and back aluminum plate with an internal .750” high-density polyethylene substrate to protect the LEDs.
Look for ruggedized signs with:
- Heavy-duty Z-bar brackets to increase wind resistance
- Pin-in torx screws to prevent tampering
- A weathertight wiring harness
- Single- and dual-sign articulating brackets
- Single- and double-post mounting options
Benefits of Ruggedized Signs
Governments are increasingly leveraging ruggedized signs over standard LED-enhanced traffic signs because they offer three main advantages.
Bent or broken signs can be completely illegible and/or easier to miss, especially at night due to reduced sign face illumination. This poses a heightened threat to safety.
For example, in a rural area it may take weeks for a stop sign broken in half by falling rocks to be discovered, reported and replaced.
As a result, countless drivers may not notice the sign, increasing the risk of a deadly collision.
Simply put, governments have a responsibility to maintain safety for all road users with sturdy, legible and visible traffic signs.
More Cost-Effective Over Time
Even a small town has dozens of signs, and a city can easily have thousands. Replacing each one every several years can eat up a jaw-dropping portion of a public works department’s budget, particularly when both the cost of the sign and its installation are considered.
Ruggedized signs like TAPCO’s Ruggedized BlinkerSigns maximize the return on investment, making them a more cost-effective option, especially when combined with the value of being LED-enhanced.
Less Work for Maintenance Crews
Maintenance crews are often stretched thin, going from one work site to the next to tackle time-consuming, labor-intensive repairs and installations. The more signs that need to be maintained, the more time and resources are demanded from maintenance crews just trying to keep their heads above water each day.
Ruggedized signs ease that burden and free up valuable time that can be put toward other maintenance projects.
Standard LED-enhanced traffic signs aren’t designed to withstand rough climates and driver error like ruggedized signs, jeopardizing public safety, depleting taxpayer dollars and hogging maintenance crews’ time.
Fortunately, any MUTCD-compliant or custom sign from TAPCO – both standard and LED-enhanced – can be ruggedized, resisting weather and impacts for many years to come.
TAPCO | Senior Product Manager
With several years of product and project management experience, Nick is an expert on wrong-way solutions, dynamic curve warning systems, intersection conflict warning systems, overheight warning systems and LED-enhanced signs.
He manages product life cycles from inception to realization and compiles traffic safety market research to drive innovative ITS solutions.