Sign, sign, everywhere a sign!

There are a lot of signs out on the roads these days, but do you know what they all mean? Sure, some are obvious, while others, not so much.

From https://www.accuform.com/news/Road-Signs-and-Meanings-What-Do-Signs-Mean , here’s a brief overview to get us started:

The meaning of colors on road signs
  • Red:  Red generally means stop. The use of red on signs is limited to stop, yield, and prohibition signs.
  • White: A white background indicates a regulatory sign.
  • Yellow: Yellow conveys a general caution message.
  • Green: Green shows permitted traffic movements or directional guidance.
  • Fluorescent yellow/green: Indicates pedestrian crossings and school zones.
  • Orange: Orange is used for warning and guidance in roadways work zones.
  • Coral: Coral is used for incident management signs.
  • Blue: Blue indicates road user services, tourist information, and evacuation routes.
  • Brown: Brown is used to show guidance to sites of public recreation or cultural interest.

Although the colors play a critical factor in providing consistency throughout the roads and highways, each shape of road signs has a specific meaning, as well. The shape of road signs can alert drivers about the message prior to reading the contents. Depending on weather conditions, the only thing you might be able to make out is the shape of the sign. If that’s the case – the shape of the sign is just as critical as the message, if not more.

The meaning of the shape of road signs
  • An octagon road sign conveys the need to stop. A stop sign is the only sign that uses this shape.
  • An upside down triangle road sign always means “yield.”
  • Diamond-shaped road signs always warn of possible hazards ahead. These are traffic signs, temporary traffic control signs, and some pedestrian and bicycle signs.
  • Pennant-shaped road signs warn drivers of no passing zones.
  • Round-shaped road signs are used for railroad signs. When you see a round traffic sign, you will likely see a railroad crossing or light rail transit crossing signs ahead.
  • A pentagon-shaped road signs provides warning that a school zone is ahead or school crossing zone is approaching.
  • A horizontal rectangle-shaped road signs usually provides guidance to drivers but can be used for a variety of needs.
  • Vertical rectangle road signs are typically used to inform drivers of regulatory notices, such as speed limits.

Interesting, isn’t it? There’s a lot of other information available in the signs all around us, and we’ll talk more about that in upcoming posts.

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