Ask a Trooper: Know the difference between sign colors

Published 11:38 am Sunday, December 17, 2017

Question: Are orange signs supposed to be advisory or warning signs? Can you get a ticket for going the speed of the white sign when there is also some orange signs posted? I’ve seen some construction zones with white and orange signs posted 55mph and then some orange signs with 35mph speed signs. What is the legal speed limit?

Answer: The white speed limit signs are the official regulatory sign. The orange signs serve as a warning; even though they are not regulatory they are intended to provide clear instructions to help you drive safely.

So if the posted speed limit is 55 mph, and you see an orange sign indicating 35 mph, I would recommend slowing to the indicated speed. Minnesota signs, signals, and pavement markings conform to the national standards.

Sign Color Meanings

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Red: Prohibits and commands

White: Regulates


Yellow: Warns

Yellow-green: Warns and controls pedestrian and bicycle crossings and school areas

Orange: Warns and control in construction zones


Green: Guides and informs

Blue: Describes services for motorists

Brown: Indicates historic, cultural, or recreational sites

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at,