Manual of Traffic Signs

Where to Obtain Traffic Signs
(legally)

First things first: no one involved with the Manual of Traffic Signs actually sells traffic signs. This site is intended to provide information on US road and traffic signs, not to push or vend any actual tangible product.


New Signs:

If you'd like to purchase a new traffic sign:

This website doesn't maintain a list of sign companies, as there's no way all of them could possibly be listed. Also, the owner of this site deals with many different sign companies in his daily professional activities, so there's a very conscious effort not to "play favorites" by listing or not listing certain sign manufacturers.

Fortunately, there are others who have developed lists of sign providers and manufacturers. One of them is International Signs Online , which has listed many highway sign companies from numerous countries. One or more of the vendors listed should be able to make any sign one needs.


Not-So-New Signs:

The growth of the online auction business has made it easier for individuals to obtain and collect interesting signs from around the world. An easy and simple way to find old road signs online is to go to eBay or a similar online auction site and do a search on the following keywords:

In general, signs taken down by public agency forces are still considered public property, and must typically be disposed of through legal means. Policies vary by agency - check with your local public works or transportation agency for details.

In some states, old signs that are taken down by contractors as part of road work become the property of the contractor for their disposal. One could contact these signing contractors directly to see if signs could be purchased from them if state law permits. (Sorry, I don't have any resources or lists on contractors actively involved in sign work at this time - so please don't ask).

CAUTION! If you do purchase or legally obtain a used sign, enjoy it as a collectible, but please DO NOT use it, place it, or install it as an official sign or traffic control device on any road or street open to public travel (even if on private property). Without detailed inspection or expensive equipment, there's no way to determine whether the sign meets required retroreflectivity or color standards. This could result in severe liability exposure for the person or organization that posts such a sign should there be a crash or other injury in the area of the sign.


Needless to say, DO NOT STEAL TRAFFIC SIGNS!

Traffic sign theft costs you! Public agencies (and the taxpayers who support these agencies) end up having to pay untold amounts of money every year due to sign theft. These costs result from:

In fact, in a number of documented cases, a single stolen sign has resulted in multiple deaths and the prosecution of the sign thieves on felony charges, including manslaughter.

DON'T DO IT!


Costs of Traffic Signs


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Updated 20 April 2005

Scripting: Richard C. Moeur
rcmoeur@aol.com
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