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Yield Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does a yield sign mean?

A.

A traffic yield sign is a regulatory sign used to assign the right-of-way. When you see a yield sign, you should slow down and let cars/vehicles that arrived first, pedestrians, and people on bicycles approaching from another direction pass.

Q. How are yield signs different from stop signs?

A.

While both yield signs and stop signs are used to define the right-of-way for road users, yield signs do not require drivers to come to a complete halt but just slow down to let others pass. On the other hand, drivers must come to a complete stop at a stop sign/line or run the risk of being cited.

Q. Do yield signs have to follow a specific design?

A.

Yes, regulatory yield signs have to be a certain design to ensure convenient and consistent communication. The MUTCD guidelines require yield signs to be downward-pointing equilateral triangles with a wide red border. These should have the legend YIELD in red color on a white background.

Q. When are yield signs installed?

A.

Used to assign the right-of-way at the entrance to a roundabout intersection; yield signs are used to replace stop signs:

  • where all potentially conflicting traffic is sufficiently visible to allow a road user to pass through the intersection or to stop in a reasonably safe manner;
  • to control a merge-type movement on an entering roadway;
  • on the second crossroad of a divided highway; and
  • on an intersection where a special problem exists and warrants the use of a yield sign.

Please refer to MUTCD Section 2B.09 for more details.

Q. Why are yield ahead signs used?

A.

Installed in advance of a yield sign, a yield ahead sign is used to alert road users about the need to slow down to respect the right-of-way requirement. This is done when the visibility of the yield sign is restricted.

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