Federal rules reportedly forbid proper punctuation on Kansas town’s flood-warning signs

Don’t look for proper punctuation on street signs in one Kansas town.

The city of Wichita has reportedly posted signs in the Bleckley Street area telling motorists, “When Flooded Turn Around Dont Drown.” Blame the feds for that missing apostrophe, city official told the Wichita Eagle.

Ben Nelson, the city’s public works strategy manager, said the sign doesn’t have an apostrophe in the word “dont” in order to conform to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which is administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

“It is the standard for making traffic signs uniform throughout the country,” Nelson told the newspaper. “According to the MUTCD, ‘Word messages should not contain periods, apostrophes, question marks, ampersands, or other punctuation or characters that are not letters, numerals, or hyphens unless necessary to avoid confusion.’”

The signs were installed recently to warn the public against crossing flooded streets, he said.

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