The federal government is forcing states and municipalities to change the lettering on street signs from all CAPS to initial Caps because it supposedly is easier for motorists to read, and therefore will save milliseconds of driver attention which might, I repeat, MIGHT, save lives.
I understand uniformity of traffic signs on major highways and roads, but street name signs?
As reported by the NEW YORK POST, sorry, New York Post, $27 million to change NYC signs from all-caps:
Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs — such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx — from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.
Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability. At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said….
Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.
The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.
As a result, even numbered street signs will have to be replaced.
Interestingly, the article notes that the rules do not apply to traffic on the internet:
“On the Internet, writing in all caps means you are shouting,” she said. “Our new signs can quiet down, as well.”
Or should I say, don’t apply, YET.