Press Releases and Statements

Sensenbrenner Blasts DOT Regulation Forcing States and Municipalities to Change Street Signs to Eliminate CAPITAL Letters

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Washington, October 6, 2010 | Tom Schreibel ((262) 784-1111) | comments

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) today addressed concerns over federal regulations mandating local governments to change street sign fonts across America.  Congressman Sensenbrenner drafted legislation to prevent the Federal Highway Administration from mandating mixed-case sign requirements upon state and local governments.

A 2009 mandate states that street name signs shall be in uppercase and lowercase letters when replaced, instead of permitting signs to be made in capital letters.  The Federal Highway Administration claims the switch will improve safety because drivers identify the words more quickly when they are displayed that way.  The Department of Transportation argues that studies show motorists find it easier to read lowercase signs, and the new signs will be printed in a font that the federal government believes to be the best.

It’s these types of one-size-fits-all federal regulations that do not represent the concerns of Americans,” Congressman Sensenbrenner said.  “I hold more than one hundred town hall and office hour meetings annually, and I have yet to have a constituent come up to me saying, ‘Jim, there ought to be a law to ban those hard-to-read uppercase block letters.’”

Sensenbrenner quipped, “What’s the next harebrained idea that’s going to come out of Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation?  Mandatory city-speed limits to force drivers to slow down to read the lowercase signs?

This is big government imposing its will on the people,” Sensenbrenner continued.  “DOT bureaucrats from the top down need to realize that Americans have different priorities when it comes to transportation.  My constituents don’t want to see high speed rail from Milwaukee to Madison.  New street signs and motorcycle helmet laws forced upon them by the DOT just shows the arrogance of Secretary LaHood.  Instead, they’d like to know how we’re going to pay for the street signs and high speed rail,” Sensenbrenner concluded.

Congressman Sensenbrenner plans to introduce his legislation when Congress returns to Washington, D.C. in November.


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