The UVC

UVC — Uniform Vehicle Code. A placeholder article for all things UVC.  I don’t really understand the process, but it’s what I refer to as a quasi-official group/document, it has no weight-of-law, unlike e.g. the MUTCD, which is maintained by the federal gov’t, and incorporated by reference into Arizona (among many others) law.

The wiki article is very sparse; it links to the NCUTLO page, which still has a website but from what I understand is “on hiatus”; and the NCUTCD “inherited” maintenance for the UVC — see “evolution” below. See also azbikelaw.org/contrib/UVC/ for many old/historical references  to UVC, especially pre-2000 versions.

UVC 2000 “Millenial Edition”

I believe this is the “current edition”? Here is a full scan of the UVC 2000 “Millenial Edition” (15MB why so big? No graphics. Also includes some appendices and back-matter). i copied that from iamtraffic.org, this all by the way appears to not a copyright problem; all these documents seem to have the “Contents may be printed with attribution” in the footer.

Other possibly helpful parts/extracts/etc

Here are a couple of individual chapters (version?) that were listed with those 4/20/13 proposals (or see all local copies of docs beginning with “UVC”)

Traffic Laws Annotated

TLA is published by the US DOT / FHWA; and was prepared by NCUTLO. As such it is apparently in the public domain and freely available; Google Books edition (fully searchable); also a .pdf is available. Unfortunately, the most recent edition apparently is 1979, so it is mainly of interest for historical research, from the forward:

This book contains five chapters from the Uniform Vehicle Code … and compares state traffic laws with significant portions of those chapters, particularly the one on “Rules of the Road.” This book is not the Uniform Vehicle Code.” contains a handy compendium of UVC along with cross-references to all state’s laws, along with historical notes.

There is also this thing called the Resource Guide on Laws Related to Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety; seems to be circa early-2000’s, and seems to be a subset of the published TLA. It’s clunky to use, it is delivered as a .zip file that has a complied Windows help (.chm).

Modern (post 2000) Historical evolution

As explained by this page at NCUTCD:

When the unit which became the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) was originally created, a unit known as the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO) was also created. The first unit dealt with the engineering side of traffic control while the second unit dealt with the enforcement and adjudication. Today, as was recognized then, in order for there to be uniform traffic control devices, it is necessary that both engineering/applications and traffic laws be uniform.

Several years ago NCUTLO went into hiatus because of a lack of funding. The primary problem was that the Internet provided, at no cost, much of the information that was previously easily available only from the committee for the cost of an annual membership.

Since the engineering side of traffic control is ever evolving, the lack of a method for the enforcement and adjudication side to keep pace with the need for new uniform definitions and traffic laws creates the possibility that individual jurisdictions will interpret and enforce the engineering advancements differently. When this occurs, the possibility of uniformity of application and of road user understanding is lost.

In order for NCUTCD to fulfill its goal of uniformity for the benefit of the road user, it appointed a task force to review the Rules of the Road as found in Chapter 11 of the Year 2000 version of the Uniform Vehicle Code published by NCUTLO and to generate proposed amendments to these traffic laws as necessary to reflect the new engineering principles and applications as they appear in the current version of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Post 2000 update proposals

The NCUTCD (National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices), at rulesroad042013.shtml has a proposed update (.doc format) to some bicycle stuff (or view proposal on web  but with some markup difficulties).

There are a bunch of mainly clarifications; bicyclists may but are not required to use shoulder; sidewalk bicycling treated as ped; two-abreast is not impeding when an adjacent lane is available.


On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 02:36:33PM -0500, Richard C. Moeur wrote:
>  Since NCUTLO has become dormant, NCUTCD has taken
> on the task of updating Chapter 11 (Rules of the Road)
> of the UVC, plus relevant parts of Chapter 1 (Definitions).
> No organization has taken on the maintenance or updating
> of the other chapters of the UVC.


> In spring 2013, NCUTCD published a draft of proposed
> revisions to the UVC affecting bicycle travel, and some
> comments were submitted, However, since this time, the
> Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced
> they intend to publish a new edition of the MUTCD in 2016,
> which means that the NCUTCD Bicycle Technical Committee
> (BTC) must now focus on developing MUTCD content for the
> next?edition. Once this is complete, the BTC will return to
> the pending UVC revisions, and take the appropriate steps
> to gain NCUTCD approval of changes for future publication.
> This likely won’t restart before spring or summer of 2014,
> though.

BTC Priorities 2014

This document was found floundering around on the internet; carrying a date of  btcpriority.pdf; among other items here is a UVC reference:

Revisions to Uniform Vehicle Code Chapter 11 (Rules of the Road) / Assigned to (John) Allen; E; ACTIVE; NCUTLO owned and developed  UVC, but became inactive in 2002 (after  publishing 2000 UVC). UVC “orphaned”  after this date. Other transportation, legal,  enforcement orgs contacted re maintaining  the UVC – no interest. NCUTCD agreed to update Chap 11 (Rules of Road) – other  UVC chapters still “orphaned”. Revisions to bicycle sections assigned to BTC.  Preliminary revisions drafted in 2012 –
comments received 2013. Topic was placed on hold 2013-2014 to focus on proposed content for next MUTCD – reactivated fall
2014.

One thought on “The UVC”

  1. § 11—303-overtaking a vehicle on the left
    The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated: …
    (b) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

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