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Regulatory signs, Warning signs, and Guide Signs

What are traffic signs used for? Well, they are mainly used to control the traffic flow, warn people against hazards, guide to a destination and to inform people of roadway services. These signs are shape and color coded, for instance, if the sign is red color, it means “stop”, if it is yellow, it indicates a general warning, etc. There are three basic categories or types of traffic signs that are as follows:
  • Regulatory
    These traffic signs give road users a direction that must be obeyed (traffic laws). The following are the most commonly used regulatory traffic signs:
stop Stop. An easily recognized at a distance red octagon sign, it means road users must make a complete stop before entering to an intersection, crosswalk, etc.
yield Yield. It is a red and triangular sign that asks a driver to allow other road users (people riding a bike or walking) first use the road. When drivers see this sign, they must slow down and be ready to stop and let traffic pass, before they go ahead.
speed limit Speed limit. It has black letters on white background and it has a vertical-rectangle shape. It can also be orange color.
movement sign Movement sign. Among these signs there are “Keep Right” “One way”, “Do not enter” “Wrong way” and others. The most common ones are the following:
wrong way Wrong way. It is a red rectangle with white letters sign. Sometimes it goes with the “Do not enter sign”. It means drivers are going against the traffic, that is why they must drive to the side and stop and once it is safe, turn around and go back to the road they were on.
do not enter Do not enter. It is a red and white sign that is posted at entryways and restricted zones (usually on a one-way street). This sign means there is danger ahead. It is possible that vehicles be coming toward drivers.
no right turn No right turn. It is a red circle with a red line through the arrow with right direction. It means drivers can’t turn right. Signs like these, with a line through them always mean “NO”. The figure inside the circle illustrates what drivers can’t do.

  • Warning signs
    These signs alert drivers to hazards or changes in conditions ahead such as proximity to a school zone. Not to obey these signs goes against the law and may cause dangerous and risky situations. The following are the most commonly used warning traffic signs:
DIP Dip. It is a yellow- diamond warning sign. It warns about a dip ahead. When drivers see this sign, they must slow down.
School zone sign Schools zone sign. This is a green pentagon-shaped sign, yellow in Canada), advices drivers of a nearby school. It is important drivers pay attention to this sign an others related to schools zones and that they slow down. It can prevent a deadly situation. It is good to remember that school speed limit (in most states) is 20-25mph.
    Another warning signs are the following:
winding road Winding road. It warns drivers about a winding road ahead.
intersection-ahead sign Intersection-ahead sign
merge and land transition Merge and land transition
steep grade/hill sign Steep grade/hill sign
slippery Slippery when wet sign.
approaching railroad crossing Approaching railroad crossing
  • Guide Signs.
    This type of signs includes route markers, informational and distance-and-destination signs. The colors have the following meanings:
green signs Green signs: They guide drivers through highway interchanges and give highway directions.
blue signs Blue signs: They indicate nearby motorist services including gas, telephone, rest areas, hospitals and food services.
brown signs Brown signs: They are directed to parks, public recreational areas, and historical points of interest among others.