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FHWA Home / Safety / Roadway Departure / Safety Eligibility Letter

Safety Eligibility Letter WZ - 310

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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

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November 30, 2011

In Reply Refer To: HSST/ WZ-310

Jan Miller
Business Development Manager
160 Ave. La Pata
San Clemente, California 92673

Dear Mr.Miller:

This letter is in response to your request for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to review a roadside safety system for eligibility for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program. 

Name of system: Quad-Drop Aluminum Sign Stand
Type of system: Compact Sign Stand
Test Level: NCHRP Report 350 TL-3
Testing conducted by: N/A
Date of request: March 7, 2011
Date initially acknowledged: April 1, 2011

You certify that the device described herein meets the crashworthiness criteria of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350 "Recommended Procedures for the Safety Performance Evaluation of Highway Features."  Based on your evaluation, you asked that we find the device eligible for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program.  Eligibility for reimbursement under the Federal-aid highway program does not establish approval or endorsement by the FHWA for any particular purpose or use.

The following devices was found eligible, with details provided below:

Roadside safety devices should meet the guidelines contained in the NCHRP Report 350 or the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH).   The FHWA Memorandum "Identifying Acceptable Highway Safety Features" of July 25, 1997 provides further guidance on crash testing requirements of roadside safety hardware.

The Quad-Drop Aluminum Sign Stand is a variation of the many TrafFix Devices Inc. (TDI) and industry standard sign stands known as "compact stands" for exclusive use in displaying roll-up signs, up to 48" diamond or 16 sq. ft. or smaller, of standard configuration.

Based on the data, drawings and images provided, you requested we find the Quad-Drop Aluminum Sign Stand eligible for Federal-aid funding because it meets the defined product class of Compact Signs Stand as described in FHWA HSA-10/WZ-85:

"Compact" sign stands are "X-Footprint" sign stands of steel or aluminum with a short mast…the mounting height of a 1220 mm × 1220 mm (48"x48") diamond sign is  300 mm to 450 mm (12" to 18") only…with no metal elements at a height that can impact the windshield during a crash."

Per Drawing 1, enclosed for reference, the Quad-Drop compact aluminum sign stand has a standard type of "mini mast" allowing for display of standard sizes and configurations of roll-up sign at 12" above grade.  The entire mast extends to approx 14" above grade allowing for no mass of steel to extend above bumper height which could potentially contact a vehicle windshield upon impact.

The TDI proprietary design feature involves the leg releasing and securing mechanism which facilitates the rapid deployment and retrieval of the sign stand and roll-up sign.  The Q-D2 sign and stand system replaces the typical hard-locking pull-pin leg deployment system widely used today.  Functionally, the mechanisms are equivalent as all stands have leg-locking systems.  We concur that this modification from the "industry-standard" approach is not a factor regarding impact performance.

We concur that the Quad-Drop Aluminum Sign Stand meets our criteria for a "compact sign stand" per FHWA Acceptance Letter WZ-85.  Therefore, the system described in the request above and detailed in the enclosed drawings is form is eligible for reimbursement and should be installed under the range of conditions such stands are tested, when such use is acceptable to a highway agency.

Please note the following standard provisions that apply to FHWA eligibility letters:

This letter shall not be construed as authorization or consent by the FHWA to use, manufacture, or sell any patented system for which the applicant is not the patent holder.  The eligibility letter is limited to the crashworthiness characteristics of the candidate system, and the FHWA is neither prepared nor required to become involved in issues concerning patent law.  Patent issues, if any, are to be resolved by the applicant.

Sincerely yours,

Signature of Mike S. Griffith

Michael S. Griffith
Director, Office of Safety Technologies
Office of Safety


Page last modified on June 24, 2011
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