Did you know that traffic signs have been around since the 1800’s? Even before cars were a mainstay, traffic signs were being used to direct bicycle traffic and keep roadways in order. Once traffic volumes began to increase, many countries decided it was time to standardize size, color and other design elements of traffic signs. The standardization of signs is important because now these signs can facilitate international travel where language differences could create barriers. Standardized signs also help enhance traffic safety.
Originally designed for bicycle riders, the first modern traffic signs were developed in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Cycling organizations began to make signs that warned of potential hazards ahead, which was a contribution to what we now call “traffic signs.” When automobiles were developed, more complex signage was needed to address all the traffic and safety needs associated with vehicles.
The first signs which use symbols in place of words were first developed in Europe and later adopted by most countries. The United States adopted these signs and modified them to fit particular needs. In addition, the United States have legally defined categories, placement, and graphic standards for traffic signs in the Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
Today’s traffic signs are manufactured in recognizable colors and designs to eliminate confusion on roadways. Each color sign has a specific meaning associated with it.
- Red signifies stopping or any forbidden actions.
- Green is information, often used on signs for directions, distances and places.
- Brown is for signs that point out parks, historic places, campgrounds and more.
- Blue is often used for hospitals, rest areas, food or other services.
- White traffic signs are used to convey regulatory information such as speed limits.
- Yellow signifies warning or caution.
- Orange traffic signs are used for traffic control, detours or other cautions associated with construction areas.
It’s easy to see why clear, easy to comprehend traffic signs are so important. They keep our roads safe and traffic flowing so that you can get to your destination on time and safely. Order your traffic signs today!