Traffic signals are placed at intersections to keep traffic moving and
accidents. Drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders must obey these
except when an officer is directing traffic. Stop on the stop line
if your car is
nearest the signal. Some signals change only when a car is
at the stop line. If
traffic signals are out of order, stop as you would
for a four-way stop sign.
to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into
the crosswalk or
intersection. After stopping, you may turn right on red
at most intersections if
the way is clear. Some intersections display a
"NO TURN ON RED"
sign, which you must obey. Left turns
on red from a one-way street into a one-way
street are also allowed.
you can. The light will soon be red.
Go - but only if the intersection is clear. Yield to pedestrians and
still in the intersection. If turning left, wait for gap in oncoming
Come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before
the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn right on
arrow at most intersections if the way is clear. Some intersections display
"NO TURN ON RED" sign, which you must obey. Left turns on red
from a one-way street into a one-way street are also allowed.
Stop if you can. The light will
soon be red. The yellow arrow means
the same as the yellow light, but applies
only to movement in the direction
of the arrow.
A green arrow, pointing right or left, means you may make a
the direction of the arrow. If the red light is burning at the same time,
you must be in the proper lane for such a
turn, and you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians within the
flashing red light means the same thing as a stop sign. It is used
A flashing yellow light means you may move forward with
caution. It is used
at or just before dangerous intersections, or to alert you to
sign such as a school crossing or sharp curve.
signals are used:
When the direction of the flow of traffic
changes during the day.
To show that a toll booth is open or closed.
To show which lanes are opened or closed.
You must never drive in a lane under a red X. A
yellow X means that your lane signal is going to change to red. Prepare
the lane safely. You may drive in lanes beneath the green arrow, but you must
all other signs and signals.
Traffic signs - Standard Shapes and Colors
There are eight shapes and eight
colors of traffic signs. Each shape
and each color has an exact meaning, so you
must acquaint yourself with
all of them.
GREEN:Guide, directional information.
RED: Stop, do not enter or wrong way.
BLUE: Motorist services guidance. Also used to identify parking spaces for disabled drivers.
ORANGE: Construction and maintenance.
BROWN: Public recreation areas and scenic guidance.
YELLOW: General warning.
The shape of a road sign can tell
you as much about the sign's message
as its color.
OCTAGON: Exclusively for stop signs. HORIZONTAL RECTANGLE:
Generally for guide signs. TRIANGLE: Exclusively for yield signs. PENNANT: Advance warning of no passing zones.
Exclusively to warn of existing or possible hazards on roadways
VERTICAL RECTANGLE: Generally for regulatory
PENTAGON: School advance and school crossing
signs. ROUND: railroad advance warning signs.
Stop signs are
always octagonal (8 sided). A stop sign means
that you must bring your vehicle
to a complete halt at the marked stop
If there is no marked
stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk
on the near side of the
intersection. If there is no crosswalk, stop at
a point nearest the intersecting
roadway where you have a clear view of
approaching traffic on the intersecting
roadway before entering the intersection.
A four-way stop sign means that
there are four stop signs at this intersection.
Traffic from all four directions
must stop. The first vehicle to reach the
intersection should move forward first.
If two vehicles reach the intersection
at the same time, the driver on the left
yields to the driver on the right.
and give vehicles crossing your path the right-of-way. If the
way is clear, you
may move forward slowly without stopping. Yield signs
are usually placed where
auxiliary roads lead into major roads.
Pennant: No Passing
are entering a no passing zone. This sign is placed on the left side
of the road,
facing the driver.
Narrow bridge. These
signs warn you of special conditions or dangers
ahead. Words or symbols on the
sign will show why you need to use caution. See pages 58-60 for typical warning signs.
Pentagon: School Sign:
This five-sided sign means you
are near a school. Watch for children.
approach this sign, slow down, watch for children crossing the
road. Stop if
necessary. Obey signals from any crossing guards.
Slow to posted speed. Watch for children!
Here are some common warning signs. These signs give you advance notice
possible hazards ahead. Drive with caution.
1. SLIPPERY WHEN WET. In wet
weather, drive slowly. Do not speed up or brake
quickly. Make sharp turns at a
very slow speed.
2. DIVIDED HIGHWAY AHEAD. The highway ahead is divided into
roadways. Keep to the right.
3. DIVIDED HIGHWAY ENDS. The divided
highway on which you are traveling
ends 350 to 500 feet ahead. You will then be
on a roadway with two-way traffic.
Keep to the right.
4. LOW CLEARANCE.
Do not enter if your vehicle is taller than the height
listed on the sign.
5. BICYCLE CROSSING. Warns you in advance that a bikeway crosses the roadway
6. MERGING TRAFFIC. You are coming to a point where another traffic
joins the one you are on. Watch for other traffic and be ready to yield
right-of-way when necessary.
7. PEDESTRIAN CROSSING. Watch for people
crossing the street. Slow down
or stop if necessary.
8. NARROW BRIDGE. The
bridge is wide enough to accommodate two lanes of
traffic, but with very little
9. DIP. There is a low place in the road. Go slowly and be ready
if the dip is filled with water.
10. SOFT SHOULDER. The dirt
on the side of the road is soft. Don't leave
the pavement except in an
11. ONE LANE BRIDGE. The bridge is wide enough for only one
vehicle at a
time. Make sure the bridge is clear of oncoming traffic before you
12. PAVEMENT ENDS. Road surface ahead changes from a hard surfaced
to a low-type surface or earth road.
13. RIGHT CURVE.
Slow your speed and keep well to the left. The road will
curve to the right.
14. DOUBLE CURVE. The road will curve to the right, then to the left. Slow
speed, keep to the right, and do not pass.
15. WINDING ROAD. There are
several curves ahead. Drive slowly and carefully.
16. TRUCK CROSSING. Watch for trucks entering or crossing the highway.
17. CROSS ROAD.
A road crosses the main highway ahead. Look to the left
and right for other
18. SIDE ROAD. Another road enters the highway from the direction
Watch for traffic from that direction.
19. SHARP RIGHT TURN. The road
will make a sharp turn to the right. Slow your
speed, keep to the right, and do
not pass other vehicles.
20. REDUCTION OF LANES. There will be fewer lanes
ahead. Traffic must merge
left. Drivers in the left lane should allow others to
merge smoothly. Right
21. ADVISORY SPEED SIGN. The highest safe
speed you should travel around
the curve ahead is 25 miles per hour. Advisory
speed signs may be used with
any diamond-shaped warning sign.
22. HILL/DOWNGRADE. Slow down and be ready to shift to lower gear to control
speed and save brakes.
23. YIELD AHEAD. Warning of yield sign ahead. Slow
down and be prepared
to stop at yield sign or adjust speed to traffic.
24. TRAFFIC SIGNAL AHEAD. Warning of traffic signals at intersection ahead.
down, poor visibility is likely.
25. STOP SIGN AHEAD. When
you come to this sign, slow down to be ready to
stop at the stop sign check.
26. TWO-WAY TRAFFIC AHEAD. The one-way street or roadway ahead ends. You
then be facing oncoming traffic.
Rectangle: Regulatory or
These signs tell you the law, so you must follow their
Remember that a red circle with a slash means NO.
shows you what is not allowed.
NO U-TURN. - You cannot
make a complete turn to go in the opposite
direction where this sign is
displayed. No U-turn.
You must not make a
right turn at this intersection.
50 miles per hour is the highest safest speed you can travel in this area.
You cannot go straight
ahead. You must turn either to the
right or left.
are going the wrong way on an expressway exit ramp. Do not drive
past this sign.
Turn around immediately.
A divided highway is ahead. Stay
on the right side of the
Parking only for
vehicles displaying an official permit and
transporting a disabled person.
You may travel only in the direction of the
This sign lists the maximum recommended safe speed for an
exit on an expressway. Slow down to whatever speed is shown.
You may not turn right or left during the red light. You
must wait for
the signal to turn green.
marking shows that a lane is reserved for certain purposes
or certain vehicles.
The lanes are usually reserved for buses or car-pool
vehicles during rush hour
traffic. Other diamond signs are used to designate
The center lane is shared for left turns in both directions
You must not pass any other vehicles going in
the same direction as
you are, while you are in this area.
When you have passed this sign, you are again permitted to pass other
vehicles with care.
Traffic in left lane
must turn left at the
Stopping permitted only for emergencies.
You are approaching an area where a reduced speed zone has been
At the intersection ahead traffic
in left lane must turn
left and traffic in adjoining lane may turn left or
continue straight ahead.
This sign is used on multiple
lane highways to advise slower driving
traffic to stay in the right hand lane;
and also to do so when approached
from behind by other traffic even if you are
doing the speed limit.
This marks a one-way roadway with
traffic coming toward you.
You must not enter the one-way roadway at this
You must not turn either to the right or to the left at this
If you park, you must always park off the
pavement of the highway.
When entering a right turn lane
motorists will conflict with bicycle
through movements. Always yield.
ANIMAL CROSSING. The animal pictured on the sign is common in this area:
watch for this species crossing the road particularly during
and nighttime hours.
Railroad Crossing Signs and Signals
There are several
signs, signals and pavement markings that indicate
highway railroad crossings.
When you see one of them, slow down and be
ready to stop.
Trains cannot stop quickly. An average freight train
traveling at 30
MPH needs a stopping distance of more than half a mile. Longer
at faster speeds can take one and a half miles or more to stop.
Any pedestrian or person driving a vehicle and approaching a railroad
highway grade crossing must stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the
nearest rail of the the railroad when the electrical or mechanical warning
devices are flashing, the crossing gate is lowered, a human flagger is warning
of an approaching train, or an approaching train is clearly visible and
is in close proximity to the railroad highway grade crossing. Do not proceed
until you can do so
Pavement markings, consisting of an RXR followed by a stop
line closer to the tracks, may be painted on the paved approach to a crossing. Any
person walking or driving a vehicle must stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet of
the crossing. Stay behind the stop line while waiting for a train to pass.
ADVANCE WARNING SIGN
The advance warning sign is usually the first sign you see when approaching
a highway-rail intersection. The advance warning sign advises you to slow down,
look, and listen for a train, and be prepared to stop if a train is approaching.
Crossbuck signs are
found at highway-rail intersections. They are yield signs. You are legally
required to yield the right of way to trains. Slow down, look and listen for a train,
and stop if a train approaches. When the road crosses over more than one set of tracks,
a sign below the crossbuck will indicate the number of tracks.
FLASHING RED LIGHT SIGNALS
At many highway-rail crossings, the crossbuck has flashing red lights
and bells. When the lights begin to flash, stop! A train is approaching. DO NOT STOP ON THE TRACKS OR WITHIN SIX FEET
OF EITHER RAIL. Do not move forward
until you can do so safely. If there
is more than one track, make sure all tracks
are clear before crossing.
In heavy traffic make sure there is room for your
vehicle on the other side
before starting to cross.
Many crossings have gates with flashing red lights and bells.
the lights begin to flash,
and before the gate lowers across your side of
the road. Do not move forward
until the gates are raised and the lights
stop flashing as there may be a train
approaching on an adjacent track.
approach highway-railroad crossings at a reasonable speed - and
be prepared to
stop if you have to. Be especially alert when you are following
buses or trucks
which may have to stop at highway-railroad crossings even
if any gates are up and
the warning lights are not flashing.
If your car stalls on the
tracks don't hesitate. Get yourself and
your passengers out and away from the car
immediately. If a collision is
imminent, the safest direction is toward the train
but stay off the tracks.
That way you will be least likely to be hit by your
vehicle or any debris
from the collision.
Construction and Maintenance Traffic Control Signs
Various traffic control devices are used in
road construction and maintenance
work areas to direct drivers and pedestrians
safely through the work site
and to provide for the safety of highway
Be prepared to reduce your speed and use caution when
directed to do
so by a sign, flagger and/or police officer.
Construction and maintenance signs are used
to notify drivers of unusual
or potentially dangerous conditions in or near work
areas. Most signs used
in highway and street work areas are diamond shaped.
Barricades, vertical panels, drums, and cones
are the most commonly
used devices to alert drivers of unusual or potentially
in highway and street work zones. These devices are used to
guide the drivers
safely through the work area, and at night, they may be
equipped with warning
lights. When a Road Closed sign is displayed, do not drive
on this road.
Look for a detour or another route.
Stripes on barricades and panel devices
slope downward in the direction
traffic must travel.
Flashing Arrow Panels
Flashing arrow panels are used both during the day and at
night to give
advance warning and directional information to drivers where it is
to move to the right or to the left into another lane.
A horizontal flashing bar indicates a warning - use
the work area.
Flaggers are often
provided in highway and street work zones to stop,
slow, or guide traffic safely
through the area.
Flaggers wear orange vests or jackets and use red flags or stop/slow
to direct traffic through work zones.
SLOW MOVING VEHICLE
Vehicles going less than 25
miles per hour (such as farm equipment) must
display this sign on the rear when
using public highways.
GREEN GUIDE SIGNS
white signs give information about directions and distances. Guide
expressways show you which lanes to use to get where you want to
that run generally East-West have even numbers and those running
BLUE SERVICE SIGNS
Blue and white signs direct
you to services, such as gas, food, motels and
hospitals. Brown and white signs
point out scenic areas and parks.
Lines, symbols and words are often painted on a roadway to help direct drivers and
control traffic flow. You must know what the different lines and colors mean and obey
them as you would traffic signs or signals.
White and yellow lines are used along pavement edges and between lanes to keep
vehicles in line. These lines may be solid or broken (long dashes), single or double.
Unless you are turning, exiting a highway, or changing lanes, always stay between
the lines marking your lane.
Yellow Lane Lines
Yellow lane lines separate lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. Single
yellow lines may also mark the left edge of the pavement on divided highways and
A Broken Yellow Line
A broken yellow line separates lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions.
Stay to the right of the line unless you are passing a vehicle in front of you. When passing, you may
cross this line temporarily when it is safe to do so.
Double Yellow Lines: One Solid, One Broken.
A solid yellow line to the right
of a broken yellow center line means passing or crossing is prohibited in that lane,
except when turning left. If the broken line is closer to you, then you can the broken line
only to pass another vehicle and only when it is safe to do so.
Double Solid Yellow Lines
Double, solid yellow lines prohibit vehicles moving in either direction
from crossing the lines. You may not cross these lines unless turning left when it is safe to do so.
White Lane Lines
White lane lines separate lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.
Single white lines may also mark the right edge of the pavement.
Broken White Line
Broken white lines separate lines of traffic
going in the same direction.
They may be crossed with care.
Solid White Line
A solid white line marks the edge of the roadway or separates lanes of traffic
moving in the same direction. You may travel in the same direction on both sides of
this line, but you should not cross the line unless you must do so to avoid a hazard.
Double Solid White Line
Double solid white lines indicate that
changing lanes is not allowed.
Solid with Turn Lane Arrow
Solid white lines are used for turn lanes and to discourage
near intersections. Arrows are often used with the white lines to
turn may be made from the lane.
If you are in a lane marked with
a curved arrow and the word ONLY, you
must turn in the direction of the arrow. If
your lane is marked with both
a curved and straight arrow, you may either turn or
highways have reversible traffic lanes to help handle rush-hour
direction of traffic is normally reversed at set times each
day. These pavement
markings are used along with special lane signals and
other signs and
A solid white line marks the edge of the pavement on most
lines, crosswalks and parking spaces are also marked by white lines.
such as arrows are in white also. A single yellow line marks the left
of all divided or one-way roadways. Curbs are often marked yellow in
zones near fire hydrants or intersections.
It is unlawful to park
in or drive through areas that have pavement
markings indicating fire lanes or
The lane marking arrow, in the center lane in the diagram
that traffic in this lane can be reversed in accordance with
controls due to "rush hour" traffic or other special
Two-Way Roadway with Center Lane
Two-way roadway with a center
lane for left turns in either direction
of travel. The specially marked center
turn lane is intended for slowing
down and for sheltering of turning vehicles and
may not be used for passing.