LIABILITY OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR NEGLIGENCE ARISING OUT OF THE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF WARNING SIGNS, TRAFFIC LIGHTS, AND PAVEMENT MARKINGS

This paper discusses the duty of the state or local governmental agency to install and maintain highway warnings, traffic lights or pavement markings, and examines the state or local government defenses against negligence actions arising out of such signs, lights or pavement markings. The paper also discusses uniform laws, regulations or standards as affecting liability. It is noted that courts generally require the agency to maintain warnings properly once they have been installed and the motorist has come to rely upon the warning for his safety. As seen, liability is determined on the basis of the factual circumstances of each case, and the question in most jurisdictions, except those with highway defect statutes, is whether the department has exercised ordinary and reasonable care under the circumstances. The defense that the highway department is either governmental or discretionary in nature is discussed, and it is noted that the courts have held that the initial plan or design of the traffic light system is discretionary in nature. Most courts hold that the failure to follow the uniform law or regulation is not negligence per se, but merely some evidence of negligence to be considered with all other evidence.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178362
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1998 12:00AM