Kentucky Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

Kentucky Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

All drivers know that a red traffic signal means stop and a green one means to go. But what about the arrows? And do flashing lights have a different meaning?

Most of us are also familiar with Stop and Yield signs — the most common ones we encounter. But did you know that there are a lot more road signs that fall under different categories? 

Even sign colors and shapes have different meanings and can quickly become confusing. 

This is why, here, we’re going to give you a complete guide to the Kentucky road signs. We’ll show you the meaning, as well as the pictures, of all the traffic signals and traffic signs in Kentucky. 

With this, you’ll be able to ace the Kentucky permit exam, avoid getting ticketed, and be the safest driver you can be. 

So shall we? 

Kentucky Traffic Signals

When it comes to interpreting traffic signals, the three primary colors and their meanings are:

  • RED means stop
  • YELLOW means prepare to stop (no, it does not mean “go faster”)
  • GREEN means go (if safe to do so)

These lights can either be steady or flashing. You may also encounter arrows instead of solid lights. 

Let’s break these down to avoid confusion.

Steady Lights

When you see the traffic signal turn RED, stop behind a crosswalk or stop line. You can’t proceed until it becomes green. 

If you need to turn right, you are free to turn even at a red light, but always check first for oncoming traffic. That said, if a traffic signal indicates you can’t turn right while the light is red, don’t attempt it — that can result in a violation.

A YELLOW signal warns you that it’s about to turn red, so you should prepare to stop.

Crossing an intersection even after the light turns red is allowed IF you already entered it while the light was still yellow. Stopping in the middle of the street will be more harmful and counterproductive. 

However, if the light turns red before you reach the intersection, you must stop behind the stop line or crosswalk.

Lastly, you can go on your way to a GREEN traffic signal. Even so, it’s best to make sure that it’s safe before proceeding. 

Remember, you still have to yield the right-of-way if other vehicles and pedestrians are in the intersection. 

Flashing Lights

You may encounter flashing lights in two colors — red and yellow. 

Flashing Yellow LightYou’ll typically find flashing yellow signs in intersections and construction areas. You may even see it on some vehicles, like tow trucks.  

Reduce your speed when you see it and watch out for other vehicles.
Flashing Red LightA flashing red sign has the same meaning as a steady one — you must come to a complete stop. However, you can continue driving once the way is clear. Yes, even if the light is still flashing red. 
Two Flashing Red LightsTwo flashing red lights are a little different — you usually find these at a railroad crossing. A crossbuck sign, which carries the same meaning as a Yield sign, might accompany it. 

Like with all red signs, you must come to a complete stop. But, with this, you can only proceed once the lights are no longer flashing. And, as always, before continuing on your way, ensure that there is no approaching train.

Lighted Arrows

Lighted arrows come in all colors. Here are their meanings:

Green ArrowsA green arrow means you can proceed in the direction it points.  

For example, you can go straight if it points upward. If it’s to the left, you can turn in that direction.

Yellow Arrow
A yellow arrow indicates you can proceed in the direction it points. However, do so with caution.

Red Arrow
A red arrow means continuing in the direction it points isn’t allowed. It’s best to wait for it to turn green before moving again.

Sometimes, you’ll meet several traffic signals (especially if you’re traveling on a highway with multiple lanes). If so, remember to follow the one that’s over your lane. 

Kentucky Traffic Signs

Now that we’ve covered traffic signals, let’s move on to traffic signs. 

In Kentucky, there are two main classifications — regulatory and warning signs.

NOTE: Some signs don’t fall into either of the classes. These may include those that provide directions or point you to a service facility. Other signs are specifically for emergency vehicles.

To be sure, it can be a bit difficult to memorize every single sign you come across. This is why it’s a good idea to understand the sign shapes. This will help you determine what sign category it falls under. 

Sign Shapes

Horizontal Rectangle Often used for guide signs (those that provide direction)

Upside Down Equilateral Triangle Only used for Yield signs

Vertical Rectangle Usually used for regulatory signs(those that manage the traffic flow)
Diamond Typically used for warning signsPentagon For signs on school advance or school warnings
Round Serves as an advance warning of a railroad crossing

Regulatory Signs

Regulatory signs reinforce traffic laws. Their primary purpose is to let drivers know what they can or cannot do in specific areas. 

Common regulatory signs are stop signs, yield signs, and speed limit signs. However, there are a whole lot more. 

Here are the regulatory signs in Kentucky:

You must make a full stop before proceeding

You must yield to vehicles and pedestrians before proceeding

Your speed should not exceed the stated limit
No Left Turn

No Right Turn

Bicycles cannot pass here

You can only turn left
You can either go straight or turn left

All vehicles on the left lane must turn left

Double left turns
Traffic is only moving in the direction the arrow is pointing
Stay on the left side

Stay on the right side

Walk on the left side, facing the flow of traffic (for pedestrians)

You cannot turn in either direction
You cannot make a U-turn

Keep off the median

No entry

You cannot proceed in this direction
You cannot pass other vehicles
Passing is allowed but must be done with caution
Stay on the right side of the road if you are driving slowly

You can only park in this space during emergencies
Trucks must use the right lane
Parking is not allowed
You must wait for the traffic signal to turn green before turning right

Indicates how long you can park in the space and during what times
Marks a bus stop. Parking is not allowed

Warning Signs

Sometimes, you’ll encounter hazards on the road. Warning signs allow you to prepare for them early. 

Knowing what you’re up against can keep you and your passengers safe. Here are the different warning signs you may see in Kentucky.

Traffic Signal AheadTraffic Merges Ahead
Lane Ends Ahead

Entering a Divided Highway
Cattle CrossingTraffic Passes on Both Sides
Low Clearance

Passing Other Vehicles is Prohibited
School or School Crossing Ahead
Road Turns Right

Road Curves Right

Reverse Turn Ahead
Reverse Curve AheadWinding Road Ahead

Approaching a downhill
Road is Slippery When WetBicycle Crossing
Pedestrian Crossing

Railroad Crossing
Cross Road
Side Roads

Divided Highway Ends Ahead

Stop Sign Ahead
Yield Sign AheadPavement Ends, Expect Gravel
Soft Shoulder Ahead

Narrow Bridge Ahead, Proceed with Caution

Deer Crossing

“T” Intersection Ahead

Expect to Share the Road with Farm Machinery 
Divided Highway Ends 

Additional Signs

As we mentioned, some signs don’t fall in either category, but it doesn’t mean they’re less crucial. 

Here are some additional signs that you’ll come across on the Kentucky roadways. 

Kentucky Road Signs

Let drivers and pedestrians know that you’ll have to pay a $500 fine if you litter in the area. 

Directional signs, as the name implies, tell you what route to take to reach a specific destination. These include parking lots, bike routes, and exits. 

Service signs point you towards service facilities, such as hospitals, picnic areas, or phone booths.

The Wrap Up

And that was your complete guide to the Kentucky road signs. 

Traffic signs and signals play an integral role in keeping Kentucky’s roadways safe. Part of our responsibility as drivers is to ensure we know what they mean. Not only that but to follow them accordingly. 

Remember, these signs and signals are there for a reason — to keep you safe. 

So be a responsible and safe driver!

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