5 Road Traffic Signs and Their Meanings

do no pass, yield, stop, pedestrian, speeding signs

Not knowing the meaning of road traffic signs can have dire consequences. You could get a hefty fine, or worse, you could get into a serious accident. While you may not know every single road sign out there, it's important to at least know the basics. 

Here are five common road traffic signs and their meanings.


Yield Signs


A yield sign looks like a triangle with a red background and white lettering. You'll see these signs most often when you're approaching an intersection where another driver or oncoming traffic has the right-of-way. 


When you see a yield sign, you should slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. You'll need to yield to an oncoming driver or oncoming traffic. 


Stop Signs


A stop sign is one of the most common road signs. It's easy to spot because it's octagon shaped and it's red with white lettering. 


A stop sign means that you must come to a complete stop before proceeding. You should stop at the marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk.


If there's no crosswalk, you should stop before reaching the intersection. Once you've stopped, yield to any pedestrians or oncoming traffic before proceeding.


No Turn on Red


This sign is located at a stop light and does not permit right turns when the traffic light is red. This is usually because there is a blind curve or visibility is limited to see oncoming traffic. When turning red on the right is permitted there will not be any signs. When turning right on red you must come to a complete stop.


Pedestrian Crossing Signs


You'll see pedestrian crossing signs in areas where there are a lot of pedestrians, such as near schools or parks. 


These signs are yellow and black and have a pedestrian crossing symbol on them. When you see one of these signs, it means that you need to slow down your car for any pedestrians who are crossing the street.


You should also be prepared to stop completely if necessary. Once the pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk, you can proceed.


Speed Limit Signs


Speed limit signs tell you how fast you're allowed to drive on a particular road or highway. These signs are usually round or rectangular and have a white background with black lettering. The speed limit will be posted on the sign in both MPH and KPH.


You should always obey the posted speed limit. However, you may need to drive slower than the posted limit if conditions warrant it. For example, if it's raining or snowing, you'll need to slow down to maintain control of your vehicle.


No Passing Zone Signs


No passing zone signs are typically rectangular and have a yellow background with black lettering. These signs are posted in areas where it's not safe to pass other vehicles. When you see one of these signs, you should stay in your lane and not attempt to pass other vehicles.


Otherwise, you could get into a serious collision accident. 


Obeying road signs is essential to keeping yourself and others safe on the road. If you're not sure what a particular sign means, be sure to look it up or ask someone before proceeding. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law or for getting hurt.

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