No matter the duration of the trip, you’ll see traffic signs. Whether you’re going to the grocery store a couple of blocks away, or to your best friend’s house on the other side of town, you see them and you (hopefully) obey them. However, it’s probably been a long time since you took a test on their meanings. Do the colors mean anything? In this article, we’ll discuss what the different colors of traffic signs mean. Please remember that this is not an exhaustive list.

Traffic Signs: Colors and their Meanings


First off, orange traffic signs are used to temporarily control traffic. You will usually see these signs in work zones and other areas where work is being done. Sometimes, in conjunction with the orange signs, there will be speed limit signs. In a work zone, be sure to pay attention and abide by the new speed limit.


Second, yellow traffic signs are warning signs. These yellow signs show you what to expect in the near future of the road. It could be a curvy road, a roundabout, an intersection, or any other number of things. Sometimes, they will have suggested speed limits. It’s a good idea to follow these speed limits to ensure safe driving, especially in inclement weather.

Yellow traffic signs can also alert you of a stop or a traffic light ahead. Sometimes, they show how high the clearance is for trucks going under an overpass. They also alert trucks of grades on hills. Yellow signs are important when it comes to safe driving!

White and Red Signs

Third, white traffic signs with plain black writing are known as regulatory signs. These signs have speed limits posted and alert you of tow-away zones. Sometimes, however, regulatory signs also have red on them. Stop signs, yield signs, no parking/no u-turn signs. These signs are imperative.

In addition to the red, white, and black found on these signs, handicap parking signs are also included in this group. Reserved parking signs are white with blue and green markings.

Green Signs

Fourth, traffic signs that are green will guide travelers. The green signs are on major roadways to show exits or directions. Guide signs also include small blue and red signs (denoting an interstate), black and white (state or U.S. route signs), or other colors to denote county or national forest routes. These signs are there to help you get where you need to be!

Blue or Brown Signs

Lastly, blue and brown traffic signs usually have symbols rather than writing on them. These symbols denote activities for recreation or for motorist services. The blue signs can represent hospitals, gas stations, food, or lodging. The brown signs, however, will show things like picnic areas, swimming areas, and hiking trails.