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As a prerequisite to receiving a New York driver’s license, individuals are required to attend a 5-hour pre-licensing course Manhattan, or in other locations around the state. This course covers four main subject areas: driving within the highway transportation system, driver’s habits and skills, feelings, attitudes, and taking risks, and alcohol and other drugs and driving.

To safely navigate the highway transportation system, it is imperative that drivers know and understand what the various road signs mean. After a few years of experience, drivers will have come to know and understand what the many colors and symbols represent, but for new drivers, all the different signs can be a bit intimidating. We’ve compiled a list of the most common signs you’ll see along a highway.

Regulatory Signs: these signs are the standard signs that you’ll see all over the road, no matter where your travels may take you!

  • Stop Sign: This is a pretty self-explanatory sign. Whenever you see a stop sign, you are to come to a full and complete stop before crossing the intersection.
  • Yield Sign: Yield signs are used to alert drivers to any upcoming hazards, road conditions, or oncoming traffic, in order to avoid accidents. Yield signs differ from stop signs in that you are not required to make a complete stop, only to slow down, stop if necessary, and then proceed when it is safe to do so. A flashing yellow light at an intersection serves the same purpose as an actual yield sign.

Speed Regulation Signs: These signs indicate the maximum and minimum speeds that are appropriate for the specific road. Some signs indicate a single speed, while others indicate two. These signs can be changed under specific conditions, such as, road construction or weather conditions. All speeds should be adhered to so as to maintain safety for all on the road.

  • Single Speed: These signs indicate the maximum speed for the specific road for standard vehicles.
  • Truck Speed: This sign indicates the maximum speed for larger trucks and vehicles on the road.
  • Combination Speed: These signs indicate the maximum and minimum speed for all vehicles on the road. These are most commonly found on highways and interstates.

Turns and Lane Usage Signs: These signs can be used to correlate with the paint on the road itself. These signs indicate turning lanes, where you can and cannot turn, U-turns, etc.

  • No Right Turn: Most commonly found in downtown areas, these signs are used to indicate a one-way street, where a right turn is not allowed.
  • No Left Turn: Just like the no right turn sign, the no left turn signs are used to indicate one-way streets where left turns are not allowed.
  • No U-Turn: When this sign is posted, a U-turn is not legal in that area. Typically, these signs are found in areas of high traffic, which do not allow for a safe U-turn to be made.
  • Left Turn Only/Right Turn Only: These signs are usually paired with the no-turn equivalent of its opposite sign. These signs are used to indicate one-way streets where you can only make either a left turn or a right turn only.
  • Left/Straight Optional or Right/Straight Optional: These signs are used to indicate that drivers are allowed to either turn the corresponding direction or go straight through an intersection. In most instances, the road will also be painted to reflect this as well.

Movement Regulation Signs: These signs are used to instruct drivers as to what moves they can make on a particular road, i.e., a roundabout.

  • Do Not Pass: These signs instruct drivers not to pass other drivers in specific areas where posted.
  • Pass With Care: These signs are used to let drivers know that it is okay to pass other drivers, so long as they use caution.
  • Keep Right/Keep Left: These signs mean that drivers should keep to the side of the road that the sign indicates.

Selective Exclusion: These signs are used as a way to indicate to drivers that they shouldn’t be in a certain area, or that they are going in the wrong direction.

  • Do Not Enter: When you see this sign, it is an indication that you don’t belong in the area, and have been advised to stay out.
  • Wrong Way: Similar to that of the “Do Not Enter” sign, wrong way signs indicate that drivers turned down the wrong way on a one-way street.
  • No Trucks Allowed: This sign is to indicate that trucks that are larger than personal sized vehicles are not allowed on the road. Think of this sign as making the road a “personal vehicles only” club.
  • No Parking: This sign means exactly what it says. There is no parking allowed where these signs are posted.
  • Emergency Parking Only: This sign is used to indicate that only emergency vehicles, such as police, fire trucks, and ambulances are allowed to park in this area.

After completing a 5-hour pre-licensing course Manhattan, new drivers will be prepared and will know what to do when coming across these various road signs. While this is just a list of the most common signs, drivers who know and understand these most common ones will be prepared to drive on any highway transportation system!