Traffic Safety

What keeps sign shop owners awake at night? Near the top of the list is the arduous task of navigating complex municipality codes. It can be a major obstacle to getting effective signs for their customers.  


Codes are often poorly written or do not address the realities of proper on-premise signage. The Model Code developed by the USSC Foundation has helped with that.


Complicating matters is the fact that there is no uniformity in sign codes.  Every town, township, city, borough and county can be different. The USSCF’s goal is to help shops navigate the sign code maze.


Some sign shops have had problems getting variances for their customer’s signs.  In cases where there was no documentation or research to back-up the reasons they were giving for the variances or zoning adjustment, the foundation has helped provide a solution.  


Local zoning code completely determines what size and type (and number of) a sign a sign shop owner can build for a customer.


Sign shops are handcuffed, because increasingly over the past 30 years, local codes became more and more restrictive.  Imagine if there was a code that limited the number of pizzas a pizza shop could sell, there would be a revolt!

Smaller signs, lower signs, fewer signs contribute to a negative economic impact for sign owners.  They diminish the message that they wish to communicate to their potential customers.




The USSC Foundation has taken a traffic safety approach to determining the design characteristics necessary for signs to be effective, and done research to support this approach.


Effective signs (visible and legible signs during the day and at night) serve the needs of the driver, the sign owner, and the sign shop without negatively impacting the community.  Good signs are good for the community.


Signs that are effective based on research tend to be larger than the restrictive codes allow; the USSC Foundation would argue that safety is of paramount importance, far out weighing any aesthetic notions about signs (i.e. a small sign is a good sign).


In fact, the report done by our Game theory professor debunked a lot of false assumptions that towns have about so-called “large signs” or number of signs.  Contact us for details about how to get your copy of this report.



USSC Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving and supporting American sign manufacturing and skilled trades. Supporting members get convenient access to the latest Research Data, Product Information, Technology Updates and Regulatory Compliance Standards. Connect with your peers and discover new insights to the challenges you face in running your sign shop and obtaining sign approvals. The USSC Foundation – here to serve supporting members in all 50 states.