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Advisory Speed Signs and Speed Limit Signs

Speed signs -

Understand the Meaning of the Two Different Speed Signs

For your driver’s license or permit exam, you must know the difference between these two speed signs. One is a regulatory speed limit sign. The other is an advisory (recommended) speed sign.

Remember the Basic Colors

Black and white are used for regulation, yellow is used for warnings.

Regulatory speed limit signs are rectangular and have black letters and numerals on a white background. Speed limit signs tell you the legal allowable limits. You may drive at this speed when conditions allow, but basically you must not exceed the limit under any circumstances. (In Montana, you may exceed the speed limit with 10 mph when passing another vehicle on a two-way road.)

Advisory speed signs have black letters on a yellow background. Advisory speed signs are often seen under a warning sign and typically placed at sharp curves, exits, or exit ramps.

The Advisory Speed Sign

Advisory speed signs tell you that conditions ahead may make it unsafe to drive at a faster speed. You should slow down to the recommended speed. In bad weather or heavy traffic, you should reduce speed even more.

An advisory speed sign is not enforced in the same way as a regulatory speed limit sign.

You should, however, be aware that if you exceed the recommended speed and have an accident, it may be argued that you violated the basic speed law or general speed restriction and were driving too fast for conditions.

In such a situation, you could still be subject to arrest and a later conviction.

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  1. Michelle Rohulich July 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    What’s the deal with the little arrow heads on top of a speed limit sign? Are they required before the speed limit changes?

    • I assume you mean the arrowhead that appear on the warning sign “Reduced Speed Limit Ahead” (see below). Such warning signs are not mandatory. They should, however, be used where the speed limit is being reduced by more than 10 mph, or where there is a need for advance notice because of sight distance or other circumstances. You should start slowing down when you get to this sign to be able to comply with the speed limit ahead.

      Reduced Speed Ahead

  2. Good day, I travelled on the N2 near Stanger and saw a 100km “restriction” in a RED circle inside a larger white square block/background with a RED square border. I was told that this meant to be a “recommended” speed. The overall speed limit was 120km(120 within a RED circle).
    The same is on Van Reenen Pass i.e. 80 in a RED circle within a white square with a RED border. Is this a fixed speed limit of 80km/hr or a recommende speed within the speed limit of 100km/hr.
    Thank you.

  3. Seems to be a straight forward way of preparation.

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