Are you preparing for your permit test?
Maybe you just want to refresh your knowledge on road signs to be the safest driver.
Or, maybe you want to avoid violating these signs and getting a ticket.
Whatever the case, you’ll learn all about the Alaska road signs, traffic lights, and pavement markings here. This way, you know exactly what you need to do when a sign pops up.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away.
Road Signs in Alaska
To make it easier, we’ll be dividing the road signs based on:
- Common road signs in Alaska
- Less-known road signs in Alaska
Let’s look at each one.
Common Road Signs in Alaska
There are 9 common and significant road signs you should know about.
Drivers who fail to comply with any of these signs may commit infractions and gain points on their driving record. And, should any of these violations result in serious car accidents, you will be charged with negligent driving.
So let’s see what these signs are:
|What They Look Like:||What They’re Called:||What They Mean:|
|A regulatory sign is a white plate with black or red writing.|
These letters/numbers indicate instructions backed by state laws and local ordinances.
|A stop sign is a red plate with white writing.|
Upon seeing the sign, stop before the designated crosswalk to yield right of way to pedestrians. Before you proceed, look both ways.
|A yield sign is red and white.|
Drivers must slow down, yield to traffic/pedestrians, and stop if necessary.
Drivers must look in all directions before proceeding.
Do Not Enter Signs
|Do not enter signs are red and white. |
These signs indicate drivers are prohibited entry to the roadway/ramp. Signs may also read:
|Warning signs are black and yellow plates shaped like a diamond. |
Different depictions indicate what drivers should look out for and adjust their speed accordingly.
|Guide signs are rectangular green plates with white writing.|
These serve as directions and indicate the location’s current distance from the driver.
Construction & Maintenance Signs
|Construction & Maintenance signs are orange plates with black writing, shaped like diamonds.|
These signs are temporary integrations on roads where construction or maintenance is conducted. These caution drivers for “special conditions” they will face en route.
|School signs are yellow plates (shaped like a pentagon) with black markings.|
Drivers must reduce speed and prepare for increased pedestrian traffic.
Tip: hover your foot on the brake instead of the gas.
|Service signs are blue plates with white writing.|
These are for a driver’s convenience. These signs indicate where you can find services you might need on the road:Restrooms, Food Stops, Gas Station, Phonebooth, Hospital, Camping Grounds, and Disposal Bins.
You are probably familiar with most of these, so let’s get you acquainted with road signs you might not have come across yet.
Lesser-Known Road Signs in Alaska
Here are road signs drivers fail to adhere to because they don’t understand what they mean.
We’re sure you’ve seen these.
Don’t ignore them!
These indicate there is a narrowing of the road ahead.
Drivers must merge left to avoid driving off-road.
Okay, this isn’t as easy to understand, but you might figure it out once you know what it is.
This directs drivers to stay on the right of any division on the road ahead.
While recycling is important, that’s not what this means.
It indicates where drivers will find an upcoming roundabout.
Well, here’s an Alaskan original.
These caution drivers to slow down and watch out for “moose.”
We know, that’s a traffic light!
Then why do you keep ignoring them?
It’s okay, our mind’s automatic response is always to ignore this sign because it only leads us to traffic light.
However, these signs remind you that you are approaching a traffic light, and where there’s a traffic light –
there is traffic from varying directions.
It’s best drivers reduce speed upon approach.
Those are some of the lesser-known yet equally important and informative Alaskan road signs. That last one brings us to another topic we should discuss in this article.
Traffic Signals in Alaska
These are pretty basic, and we don’t expect anyone to be unfamiliar with these lights. Still, it’s important to go over even the basics.
Typically found at the top slot, the red ball indicates a red light. All drivers must come to a full stop behind a marked crosswalk or other indicative markings before the intersection.
In the middle section of the transformer sits the yellow ball. This light directs motorists to prepare for a complete stop by slowing down. Drivers may proceed with extreme caution if they have already entered the intersection when the light turns yellow.
At the bottom slot, you’ll see the green light. Basically, it means GO. However, this is not an all-access pass with total right-of-way coverage. You must remain vigilant in observing right-of-way regulations and yield accordingly, especially to pedestrians, at all times.
Here are some signals that may confuse motorists and result in accidents.
Apply all rules pertinent to each color in
the direction the arrow is pointing.
For example, if you are about to execute a left turn and a traffic light with arrows pointing left is red, come to a full stop before the intersection. Do not proceed until the light is no longer red.
Flashing Traffic Lights
Any light that is flashing, blinking, or strobing indicates two things:
Come to a full stop then proceed only when safe for you and others.
This includes yielding to other motorists and pedestrians first.
Steady Red Steady Yellow Steady Green
X X ⬇
The lane is for the use of the opposing flow of traffic.
The lane is about to close. Exit as swiftly and safely as legally possible.
Motorists are allowed access anytime.
Those are all you need to know about traffic signals in Alaska. However, if you don’t see one within sight and no enforcers regulate traffic flow, proceed with extreme caution.
All road rules are still in place in the absence of stoplights. Do not take its absence as an anything-goes signal. Violators will be cited, tested, or arrested.
You can look for road markings if you are unsure what to do without a stoplight.
Road Markings in Alaska
First, let’s go over the basics.
Single/Double solid yellow lines are prohibitive lines. They are marked at the center of highways to separate two opposing traffic flows and must never be crossed.
Solid white lines are restrictive markings. They split lanes to separate all traffic going toward the same direction or the side ofthe road. Motorists within solid white lines must “stay in their lane.”
*Unless another vehicle in front of them is going below 10mph or in case of emergencies.
Dashed white lines are more permissive. These cut-up white lines indicate where motorists may enter from another lane or exit into another.
Dashed yellow lines are permissive lines that separate opposing traffic. They are exclusive to two-way roadways where there are only two lanes total.
They indicate where motorists may legally make a u-turn, left-turn, and right-turn.
However, you may cross a solid yellow line after yielding to others, if you turn into a driveway.
This one is pretty easy to decipher, but it can be confusing when you’re in the moment.
The combination of dashed and solid yellow lines indicates which lane permits access to the other and which is not.
Again, this is exclusive to two-way roads totaling two lanes overall.
Those dang arrows are everywhere! Arrows are meant to indicate where you can and cannot go. Relax, they’re here to help.
You can follow the direction the arrow is pointing toward. Pictured above are the different indicators you will encounter on the road and which lane vehicles may enter in their direction.
- Through arrows indicate drivers may only go straight through intersections.
- Left-turn arrows let drivers know they are permitted to turn left at intersections. If you are in this lane, you may no longer go straight through and must turn left. Without this arrow, motorists are barred from making a left turn.
- Right-turn arrows permit motorists to make a right turn at intersections. In the absence of “no right on red,” the cue typically lets drivers know they can turn right at anytime carefully. If you are in this lane, you may no longer go straight through and must turn right.
- Left or Through arrows are two-headed arrows that allow motorists to go straight through or turn left at intersections.
Whew! That was a lot.
But the great thing is that the signs, signals, and markings are always somewhat easy to understand. Even easier if you’re familiar with a few of the most common ones already.
Which, if you read through this article, you already know about.
So we hope that this article has helped you get ready for your permit test, be the safest driver you can be, or adhere to the signs to avoid getting ticketed.