How are Road Sign Shapes Used?
Road signs in United States have 9 basic shapes. Each shape is used for different kind of messages. It is a good idea to learn all shapes for your DMV knowledge test. In most states, you will see a question or two about road sign shapes and colors on the test.
The pennant-shaped road sign is perhaps the most overlooked shape when learning the basics of U.S. road signs.
The Pennant Shaped Sign is Always on the Left Side
The pennant shaped sign is always yellow and always placed on the left side of the road. It has the text “No Passing Zone” and marks the beginning of an area where you cannot pass other vehicles on left side of the road.
If you look over to the right-hand side of the road you will see the black and white “Do Not Pass” sign. The two signs supplement each other.
In a no-passing zone the pavement is also marked with a solid yellow line on the left of your lane.
Together, the signs and the pavement markings mean that you must stay on the right side of the road and not pass other vehicles.
Why are Two Signs Necessary?
The purpose of the yellow pennant-shaped sign is to make the no-passing zone more visible from a distance. With cars in front of you, it’s not always possible to have a clear view of the black-and-white sign on your right.
The yellow pennant-shaped sign is placed where more emphasis is needed.
Can You Cross and Drive on the Left Side?
In a no-passing zone, you can – in general – not move over to the left side of the road.
Most states make an exception when there is an obstacle on the right-hand side of the road. Slow-moving vehicles, such as bicycles, can be considered an obstacle in many states.
Whenever there is an obstacle, use great caution before you cross the center line. Your view of the road ahead is limited and there could be an oncoming vehicle on the opposite side.
Left Turns across the Center Line
You can also cross the solid yellow line in a no-passing zone to turn left into a driveway, private road, or alley. Same thing here, use great cation before driving across.