Know Your Road Signs and Signals
This section of the Florida Drivers Handbook includes photos of Florida road signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings and explains each of them.
Topics Addressed in Chapter 4 of the Florida Driver Handbook include:
Florida Drivers Handbook - Traffic Signals
Ch. 4 Traffic Control Signals
Traffic signals are placed at intersections to keep traffic moving and to avoid a crash. Drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders must obey these signals, except when an officer is directing traffic. Stop on the stop line if your car is nearest the signal. Some signals change only when a car is at the stop line. If traffic signals are out of order, treat the light as if it was a four-way stop sign.
Come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. At most intersections, after stopping, you may turn right on red if the way is clear. Some intersections display a "NO TURN ON RED" sign, which you must obey. Left turns on a red light from a one-way street into a one-way street are also allowed.
Stop if you can. The light will soon be red.
Go – but only if the intersection is clear. Yield to pedestrians and vehicles still in the intersection. If turning left, wait for a gap in oncoming traffic to complete a turn.
red light traffic law Come to a complete stop at the marked stop line or before moving into the crosswalk or intersection. After stopping, you may turn right on a red arrow at most intersections if the way is clear. Some intersections display a “NO TURN ON RED” sign, which you must obey. Left turns on a red light from a one-way street into a one-way street are also allowed.
Stop if you can. The light will soon be red. The yellow arrow means the same as the yellow light, but applies only to movement in the direction of the arrow.
A green arrow, pointing right or left, means you may make a turn in the direction of the arrow. If the red light is burning at the same time, you must be in the proper lane for such a turn and you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians within the intersection.
A flashing red light means the same thing as a stop sign. It is used at dangerous intersections.
A flashing yellow light means you may move forward with caution. It is used at, or just before, dangerous intersections, or to alert you to a warning sign such as a school crossing or sharp curve.
Lane signals are used:
- When the direction of the flow of traffic changes during the day.
- To show that a toll booth is open or closed.
- To show which lanes are opened or closed.
You must never drive in a lane under a red X. A yellow X means that your lane signal is going to change to red. Prepare to leave the lane safely. You may drive in lanes beneath the green arrow, but you must also obey all other signs and signals.
Florida Drivers Handbook - Traffic Signals
Ch. 4 Traffic Signs – Standard Shapes and Colors
There are eight shapes and eight colors of traffic signs. Each shape and each color has an exact meaning, so you must acquaint yourself with all of them.
- GREEN: Guide, directional information.
- RED: Stop, do not enter or wrong way.
- BLUE: Motorist services guidance. Also used to identify parking spaces for disabled drivers.
- ORANGE: Construction and maintenance warning.
- BROWN: Public recreation areas and scenic guidance.
- YELLOW: General warning.
- WHITE: Regulatory.
- BLACK: Regulatory.
The shape of a road sign can tell you as much about the sign's message as its color.
Octagon: Exclusively for stop signs.
Horizontal Rectangle: Generally for guide signs.
Triangle: Exclusively for yield signs.
Pennant: Advance warning of no passing zones.
Diamond: Exclusively to warn of existing or possible hazards on roadways or adjacent areas.
Vertical Rectangle: Generally for regulatory signs.
Pentagon: School advance and school crossing signs.
Round: Railroad advance warning signs.
Cross-buck: Railroad crossing.
Stop Signs are always octagonal (8 sided). A stop sign means that you must bring your vehicle to a complete halt at the marked stop line. If there is no marked stop line, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. If there is no crosswalk, stop at a point nearest the intersecting roadway where you have a clear view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.
A 4-Way Stop sign means that there are four stop signs at this intersection. Traffic from all four directions must stop. The first vehicle to reach the intersection should move forward first. If two vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left yields to the driver on the right.
Slow down and give vehicles crossing your path the right-of-way. If the way is clear, you may move forward slowly without stopping. Yield signs are usually placed where auxiliary roads lead into major roads.
Pennant: No Passing
You are entering a no passing zone. This sign is placed on the left side of the road, facing the driver.
Narrow bridge. These signs warn you of special conditions or dangers ahead. Words or symbols on the sign will show why you need to use caution. See pages 58-60 for typical warning signs.
Pentagon: School Sign
This five-sided sign means you are near a school. Watch for children.
As you approach this sign, slow down, watch for children crossing the road. Stop if necessary. Obey signals from any crossing guards.
Slow to posted speed. Watch for children!