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No Passing Zone Sign Meaning

There are lots of traffic signs in the modern transportation system, and many of them are obvious in meaning and location. However, quite a few others are a bit more obscure and only seen in certain situations. If a person is not familiar with these less frequently used signs, it can trigger everything from a traffic violation to an accident that could be serious, even fatal. The No Passing Zone sign is one of these signs that people should always pay attention to any time they see it.

The No Passing Zone

Often seen and flagged in rural roads and extended distance driving areas, a "no passing zone" is intended to notify the driver of the danger of oncoming traffic. It is often used in areas where there is little visibility of oncoming traffic and insufficient room to avoid it once committed to the opposite lane. Mountain roads, roads where the visibility is obscured by hills, or the road distance is short between changes are the most common examples. These situations also combine traffic moving at a good speed as well, typically 45 mph and higher, so the impact of two cars hitting each other in the opposite direction can be tremendous due to the physics. The results are often dramatic and fatal, which is why the no passing zone is applied.

What a No Passing Zone Sign Looks Like

The typical no passing zone sign comes in the form of a yellow pendant with an internal black border and black lettering. It is positioned on the shoulder side of the road versus the middle so that there’s little chance of its being damaged by traffic. The yellow is often reflective, so the sign can be seen at night as well, lit up by a car’s headlights as it approaches. The sign is regularly positioned at least 200 feet before the critical zone where passing shouldn’t occur to give the driver time to adjust as well as to slow down if he or she was thinking about making a passing attempt in the next few seconds.

The fabrication of the sign is usually durable aluminum for weather resistance and corrosion aversion. It’s often posted on a pressure-treated wood pole for cost savings, but it can also be placed on an aluminum pole as well, typically in higher altitudes where the snow and elements can rip apart organic material far too quickly.

The pennant shape is unique and often limited to just the No Passing Zone sign. This is to avoid confusion and mixing up interpretations as a driver travels from state to state. The design is controlled by the federal Department of Transportation, at least on interstate routes, to ensure uniformity from state to state. States agree to these rules as part of the interstate network support, and in exchange, they get the benefit of federal highway support and related financial resources.

For example, signs warning of railroad crossings and traffic stops on such intersections are completely different, often in the form of an X or a round white sign. In some cases, a railroad sign is even in the form of a cross, but never a yellow pennant. The No Passing Zone sign will also never be in the form of an octagon; this is specifically preserved for stop signs or diamond warning signs. The color scheme is entirely different, usually deep red in color and bordered with white or as a Yield sign, which can be yellow or white, depending on the locality. And those signs are downward-pointing triangles as well.

While some expect No Passing Zone signs to be yellow rectangles that are vertical in nature, these are, in fact, aftermarket novelty signs and not real. One can find various versions of these rectangular spoofs online in stores like eBay or Amazon, but they have nothing to do with official signage on state or federal routes and roads.

Obtaining No Passing Zone Signs for Your Locality

Work Traffic Control Industries is a proud maker of road signage, including quality No Passing Zone signs that are critical to keeping people safe on mountain, curvy and rural roads where visibility can be extremely limited. If you need quality sign production for your jurisdiction and are getting a bit of a runaround, give us a call or email. We can show you the quality of our production and take care of your order with a high-quality sign run that will last for years, and, more importantly, keep drivers in your area safe.

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