California Department of Transportation


Q What's the difference between the various road signs?

California has four types of highway signs: Warning Signs -- These have black lettering on a yellow background. These signs warn the driver about approaching features on a particular section of highway, such as curves, narrow bridges, pedestrian crossings or stop signs. Regulatory Signs -- These can have white lettering on either red or black backgrounds or black, red or green lettering on a white background. These signs alert the motorist to rules they must follow by law, such as the speed limit, stop, do not enter, wrong way, parking restrictions and turning movements. Guide Signs -- These signs in most cases have white lettering on green background and help to direct the motorist to a particular destination (i.e., "San Francisco 100 miles") or white-on-blue for motorist services such as "Rest Area Next Right." Construction Signs -- These have black lettering on an orange background. The signs alert motorists to construction related activities such as road construction ahead, non-standard features during construction such as open trench, no shoulder, etc., and detours.