23rd of October 2009 1
Traffic signs can be found all over the roads, helping drivers get from one destination to another. Traffic signs are used to incur speed limits, give directions and warn drivers of dangers in their immediate driving vicinity. Traffic signs vary not only from country to country but even from state to state within the United States. Traffic signs help the flow of traffic by making it easier for drivers to figure out where to turn for certain streets and other major highways. Traffic signs also aid in getting drivers to rest stops, gas stations, hotels and restaurants.
Traffic signs differ in size, color and design from state to state and from category to category. The most important signs used throughout the United States are stop signs, speed limit signs and road danger signs. Road danger signs include areas with deer, moose, falling rock, steep hills, road closures and severe curves in the roadway. Across the country various departments of transportation are implementing lit roadway signs to make them more visible during night hours and during inclement weather. These lit signs include no left turn, no u-turn and no turn on red. They are placed on the pole that holds the traffic light, which makes them more visible right off the bat.
Other important traffic signs are ones for handicap parking, no parking, no idling and no trucks over two tons. Traffic signs are the backbone of the automotive industry and without them driving would be dangerous and tedious because there would be chaos on the roads. Traffic signs range from yellow, to red, to green, to white in the United States. The majority of green traffic signs can be found on national highways such as I-95 on the East coast and I-80 from Teaneck, NJ to San Francisco, CA.
One sign that has been left out so far but can’t be forgotten is the all-important railroad crossing sign. A circular, yellow sign, the railroad crossing sign has an X on it with an R on either side of the X to warn drivers of railroad tracks crossing through the roadway. At the crossing there is a light stand with a gate that blocks the roadway and a massive sign in the shape of an X with two red lights attached to it to warn motorists of an impending train.
Traffic signs have become objects of theft over the years, especially street signs. Stealing street signs has been a popular dare among teenagers, especially if the sign has the name of a friend or family member on it. The signs are taken off their pole and taken home for display. Traffic signs cost anywhere from $100-$500 to replace and theft of traffic signs are treated like all other theft crimes. If the culprit is found they are either fined and/or jailed and it goes on their record. Street sign theft can be extremely dangerous because that missing street sign could be vitally important to an intersection or section of roadway. Street sign theft could also prove to be deadly if the signs are taken from a highly congested area.