Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS)

The Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS) assures that State highways operate safely and efficiently. OOTS provides traffic engineering, traffic operations, and traffic safety support to Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) districts and other units. It houses MDOT SHA's motor carrier agency and serves as the lead agency for Maryland's traffic safety programs.

OOTS functions include the following:

  • Standards and Guidelines: Establishes standards and guidelines for the installation of traffic control devices (traffic signs, traffic signals, pavement markings, etc.) on all streets and highways.
  • Traffic Measures: Guides MDOT SHA and local highway agencies on the use of traffic measures, the design/installation of highway lighting, and the design of highway features and roadside furniture.
  • Planning and Engineering: Provides traffic planning and engineering studies; provides technical assistance to highway agencies regarding such studies, traffic signal timings, operational capacity of specific streets and roads; technical assistance to government agencies, utility companies, and private firms in the control of traffic through work zones.
  • Special Programs: Develops special programs to facilitate the safe movement of traffic, particularly during abnormal conditions, such as the weekend summer traffic to and from the Eastern Shore and when incidents cause freeway closures.
  • Traffic Signals: Designs, constructs, and maintains traffic signals on State and US numbered highways (except in Baltimore City and parts of Montgomery County).
  • Signs and Lighting: Designs and installs special traffic signs and highway lighting on State, US, and Interstate numbered highways.
  • Safety: Identifies locations that need safety and operational improvements, and provides counsel to solve safety problems.
  • Motor Carrier Operations: Regulates motor carrier operations; manages commercial vehicle size, weight, and safety enforcement programs; reviews proposed routing and issues permits for oversize and overweight loads.
  • Traffic Safety Programs: Provides Statewide leadership for Maryland's overall highway safety program; implements traffic safety programs, projects, and activities; addresses specific components of the traffic safety program (e.g., impaired driving, occupant protection, and young and older drivers); and administers the highway safety grant programs (e.g., "402" for States and communities and "410" for impaired driving).

OOTS is in MDOT SHA's Hanover complex, 7491 Connelley Drive in Hanover, Maryland 21076. Its Traffic Sign and Traffic Signal Shops also are housed at this location.