What the Federal Highway Administration wants you to know
Interim Approval 21, or IA-21, is the memo within the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) regarding the use of rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs). All state and local agencies wishing to use RRFBs must apply for approval under IA-21.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), they have received almost 100 requests under IA-21 since its release in March 2018. That’s a lot of paperwork! While the FHWA says it normally reviews and fulfills requests for use under its various Interim Approvals within 3–4 weeks, the current volume of requests has created a larger backlog. The FHWA has released some tips and recommendations to help everyone get approved faster. We’re doing our part to help spread the word.
Have you submitted a request for IA-21?
The FHWA advises response times may be longer than usual, but you can check in with the MUTCD team for the status of your request. Find the right person to contact here.
Looking to submit a request for IA-21 on behalf of a local government?
Tip #1: Check if your state DOT has already requested approval on behalf of local governments within the state. If so, your local government may already be approved. See the list here.
Tip #2: Not on the list? Contact your state DOT and encourage them to include local jurisdictions in their application, which would reduce the need for local jurisdictions to apply separately.
If the above doesn’t apply, or if you’re looking to submit a request for IA-21 on behalf of a state DOT:
- Review our guidelines here to learn how to submit a request
- Review the MUTCD’s News Feed
- Review the MUTCD’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)