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What does the Pennant Shaped Road Sign Mean?

Pennant Shaped Road Sign - What Does It Mean?

Road Sign Shapes on Your DMV Test

Road signs in United States come in 9 different shapes. Each shape displays a specific message, like stop, yield, warning, guidance, etc.

If you haven’t done so already, take a few minutes and try to learn all road sign shapes for your knowledge test.

Maybe you ask yourself, are shapes really that important? Why should I bother to learn them?

Well, to start with, questions about road sign shapes and colors often show up on your DMV test and you really want to pass that test to get your learner’s permit or full driver’s license. Don’t you?

For your future driving on our highways it is also a great help if you can recognize road signs by their shape and color and understand the general meaning of them from a distance.

How Shapes and Colors Can Help

Let us take an example. You are on a long trip. You start feeling tired and want to pull over at the next rest area. By knowing the meaning of shapes and colors, you start looking for a blue rectangular sign on your right.

Of all the road sign shapes, the pennant-shaped road sign is perhaps the most overlooked and the one test takers are most likely to miss on a DMV test.

This sign is also a good example of when you can spot and understand the sign from a long distance by only recognizing the shape.

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#1. Road signs with a three-sided pennant shape mark:

A yellow pennant-shaped sign marks the beginning of a no-passing zone. It supplements the black and white “Do Not Pass” sign. The yellow pennant-shaped sign is on the left side of the highway and faces the driver.  The black and white “Do Not Pass” sign is posted on your right side.

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What the Pennant Shaped Sign Means

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 you must not pass other vehicles.

Signs marking a no-passing zone

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 and spot the black-and-white sign on your right.

The yellow pennant-shaped sign is posted on the left in areas where more emphasis is needed and typically where more accidents have occurred in the past.



Can You Cross and Drive on the Left Side?

In a no-passing zone, you can generally 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, but this is not the general rule. Stay behind, unless you know it is legal and safe to pass.

Whenever there is an obstacle, you should always use great caution before you cross the center line. Your view of the road ahead is limited and there may be an oncoming vehicle on the opposite side.

Passing bicyclist - solid yellow line. Copyright: Xzelenz Media

Left Turns across the Center Line

You can also cross the solid yellow line in a no-passing zone when you want to turn left into a driveway, private road, or alley.

But it is the same thing here, use great caution before driving across the center line.


Learn More

 Definition of a No-passing Zone

 Pavement Markings and What They Mean

 Road signs – Know the basic shapes

 Work Sheet to Help You Study

 What does a round road sign mean?


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