Traffic Sign Information, Tips, & Advice

Stop Sign - Traffic SignTraffic signs and traffic safety signs are used to direct, notify, and highlight certain areas of the road that may require a drivers attention. Most municipalities use a variety of traffic safety signs in all shapes & sizes to accomplish these state mandated safety directives.

Traffic signs are usually manufactured with either a rustproof steel or rustproof aluminum base which makes them highly durable and weather resistant. They also can be manufactured with a reflective vinyl coating which helps vehicles see them easier at night without the need for illumination.

Most traffic signs are manufactured in identifiable colors and designs to reduce uncertainty on the road. Every type of sign has a specific color and meaning connected to it.

  • Red – Prohibited actions
  • Yellow – Caution
  • Green – Information
  • Blue – Traveler services, hospitals, evacuation
  • White – Regulatory information
  • Black – Regulatory information
  • Brown – Recreation
  • Orange – Temporary traffic control

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or MUTCD defines the standards that are administered by road managers nationwide. It defines how to install and maintain traffic control devices and road signs on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public. The most current version of the MUTCD can be found here, in PDF format.

Traffic Sign Effectiveness

Traffic signs are a vital tool for conveying information to road travelers. Their significance is elevated at night, when visibility becomes even more important for effectiveness. The visibility of road signs should take into account a few important factors like:

  • Conspicuity
  • Legibility
  • Design
  • Placement
  • Operation
  • Maintenance
  • Uniformity

To provide maximum effectiveness, signs should be designed, placed, and maintained in a manner that is consistent with MUTCD guidelines.