How To Makes Sense of All the Signs You Encounter While Driving
Some rules have exceptions but not this one. A red light means stop period whether it is a regular stoplight, a flashing light, or a red arrow. A green light, whether it’s a regular light or a green arrow means go. But, with a green light there is an exception. You can’t go until the intersection is clear of all cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Then, there is the yellow light. When you see a yellow light, slow down then stop at the stop line or crosswalk.
When approaching a stop sign in Texas, what you do depends on how the intersection is marked. One, if there is a painted crosswalk then stop before the crosswalk. Two, if there is no crosswalk then stop before what is called the painted stop. That’s the wide, white, paint strip on the pavement near the stop sign. The third scenario, if there is neither a painted crosswalk nor a painted stop. If you approach an intersection like this then stop so that you have optimum visibility through the intersection. If visibility at the intersection is poor, first stop behind the stop sign then creep forward until you can see clearly. Running stop signs or red lights is one of the biggest causes of crashes.
A yield sign means slow down. Be ready to stop. Let any traffic, pedestrians, or people on bicycles pass before you continue. Do not enter and one way signs often appear near each other. If you’re facing one of these signs you are going the wrong way. Turn around or back up. These are prohibition signs. They simply mean no. No parking, no U-turn and so on. Speed limit signs help regulate the flow of traffic. It’s both dangerous and illegal to drive faster than the posted speed limit. It’s also dangerous and illegal to drive the posted speed limit if the weather or other conditions make it hazardous to drive that fast. Pay attention to minimum speed limits too. Driving to slow can be a problem if you block the reasonable flow of traffic.
In school zones speed limits are usually 15 or 20 mph. keep an eye out for children and school buses. When school buses flash yellow lights, that’s a sign the school bus is about to stop. It’s your warning to prepare to stop. When the red lights on the school bus start flashing, you must stop whether you are following or approaching the bus. Stay stopped until all children have gotten safely on or off the bus. A bus is a huge obstacle blocking a child from your view and you from the child’s.
You cannot proceed until one of three things happen: either the bus resumes motion, the bus driver signals you to proceed, or the bus’ lights stop flashing. Even then use great caution. You never know when a child might trip and fall or when there might be some other unexpected event that would call for you to stay stopped. Also be extra careful with your speed in residential areas. The speed limit is 30 mph in most residential areas. Warning signs are generally diamond shaped. They indicate warnings such as you’re approaching cross roads, pedestrians may be ahead, or your lane is about to end. Round signs mean check for a train. Guide signs are blue, brown or green and give directions to places such as rest areas, hospitals, and airports.