Can you imagine no signs on roads? Do you know Road Sign Colors and Shapes ?

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We can't imagine driving without signs on the roadways!  However, when automobiles were invented, there were no paved streets, no signs, and motorists had accidents, ran off the road, got lost, ran out gas. AAA auto club was one of the first organizers of Traffic Signs for roads and safe driving.

Color coding and shapes of Traffic signs help Drivers quickly know important traffic information.  Octagon shape is only for STOP, inverted Triangle for YIELD, Diamond shape for Warning, Pentagon for SCHOOL zones. Rectangular Shape used on Regulatory and Circular warns of Railroad crossing.   Symbols such as Pedestrian, Bike, Arrows, are visually recognized quickly from a distance.

chart of Traffic sign use of colors
Chart to identify colors used on traffic signs
  • Red background on signs is limited to STOP, YIELD and prohibition signs. 
  • White background Regulatory signs have a- such as speed limit, turn arrow or lane use.
  • Yellow signs are general warning message, such a curve, Stop ahead, Dead end. 
  • Green is permitted traffic movement or directional guidance, street names
  • Fluorescent Yellow-Green  indicates School Zones and Pedestrian Crossings  
  • Orange signifies temporary signs,flag man , construction, detours
  • Coral fluorescence is used for incident management, such as accident routing.
  • Blue is used for Road user services, evacuation routes, tourist information
  • Brown is for Guidance to Pubic Parks and Recreation, or cultural interest.

Traffic sign colors are mandated by the Department of Transportation.   The MUTCD, or Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices details all sizes, colors, specification for each and every traffic sign. 

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