South Carolina Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

South Carolina Road Signs (A Complete Guide)

Road signs play a huge role in the safety and orderliness of traffic. 

Plus, some signs tell us about hazards to watch out for. 

So there’s no doubt about it – road signs are very important. 

But do you know what the South Carolina road signs mean?

What about the traffic signals and pavement markings?

If not, don’t worry – we’ll run you through a complete guide.

With this, you’ll be able to ACE your knowledge test…

Or maybe just be a better and safer driver…

Or avoid those annoying tickets. 

Whatever the case, this guide is for YOU. 

So let’s jump right to it!

South Carolina Traffic Signals

Let’s start with the basics. 

Traffic signals, also known as traffic lights, are mostly found in intersections. It signals when it’s your turn to stop AND when you can enter the roadway. 

Without traffic signals, intersections and turns can get wild.

So let’s quickly go over the South Carolina traffic signals:

Signal:Visual Aid:Meaning:
Steady GreenYou may pass through the intersection but always proceed with caution.
Steady YellowThis comes after the green signal and warns you that the light will soon be red. If you’re inside the intersection already, clear the area. If not, prepare to stop. 
Steady RedStop outside the intersection. If there is a crosswalk or stop line, stop right before them. Remain stopped until the traffic light turns green.
Flashing YellowSlow down and proceed with caution. Yield to traffic entering the intersection.
Flashing RedMake a complete stop, look around, and proceed when it is safe to do so. 

These signals can also come in arrows. The colors mean the same thing, but it only applies to the direction in which the arrow is pointing. 

South Carolina Traffic Signs

Traffic signals tell you who can proceed and who has to stop.

Traffic signs, on the other hand, tell you about hazards, directions, and rules in the area. 

These signs vary in shape, size, and color. This way, you can easily identify them even from afar. 

Warning Signs

Warning signs are easy to spot because they’re yellow and diagonal. 

As you might guess, these signs tell you of hazards ahead.

As a general rule, you should do these safe driving tips when you see warning signs: 

  • Slow down. Slowing down gives you time to react to hazards on the road. 
  • Be more alert. Look for hazards in the area and be aware of how other vehicles react to their surroundings. 
  • Follow what the sign says. This is obvious, but it has to be emphasized that if the sign says there are only turns, then you have to prepare to turn soon. 
  • If necessary, yield the right of way. This is common in school zones and crosswalks. Yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles who have already entered the intersection. 

Here are the most common warning signs you’ll see: 

South Carolina Road Signs
South Carolina Road Signs
South Carolina Road Signs

Railroad Crossing Signs

Railroad signs have several designs but they all tell you one thing — there is a railroad crossing ahead and you need to stop if there is a train. 

Here are the railroad crossing signs:

Railroad ahead warning sign. This is placed before a railroad crossing to warn you that there might be a train approaching. 
This is placed at the railroad crossing telling you to stop behind the stop line. If there is a train approaching, remain stopped until the train has passed. 
Similar to the sign above, this sign is placed at the railroad crossing. The difference is that this sign tells you the number of tracks ahead. 
While this is not a sign, this is a railroad gate found in some railroad areas. If you see the gate lowered, you have to stop at the stop line. 

If you get stuck in the tracks, call the emergency hotline. 

Work Zone Signs

Work zone signs are orange. Some are diagonal while others are rectangular. 

These signs are easy to see because they’re often accompanied by lights or flaggers to help manage traffic. 

Here are some signs to help you get familiar with them:

South Carolina Road Signs

You may also see flaggers and barriers that will tell you where to go or where you can’t pass:

South Carolina Road Signs
South Carolina Road Signs

When you’re in a work zone, make sure to slow down and avoid staying too close to the barriers. 

Expect that there will be merging traffic, too — so try to give way.

Regulatory Signs

These signs are usually square-shaped and have black symbols. 

Of course, there is the occasional regulatory sign that does not follow these features — like the STOP or YIELD sign for example. 

Now, these signs tell you what you can and can’t do, where to turn, the speed limit, and the traffic directions. 

Some common regulatory signs are:

Road signs
Speed Limit SignsShow the maximum legal speed limit in ideal conditions.
Stop SignMake a full stop before entering the road ahead. Look for vehicles or pedestrians crossing the area. If none, you can proceed. 
Yield SignSlow down and yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic. 
Shared Center Lane Left Turn OnlyThe center lane is dedicated to vehicles turning left from either direction. You are not allowed to use this lane for passing.
One-Way StreetThe road ahead only goes in one direction (depending on where the arrow is turned). Do not turn if you are going in the opposite direction.

Guide Signs

These signs are rectangular or square and may come in green, brown, or blue. 

Green signs give information on states or cities and your distance from them. 

Brown signs indicate cultural and recreational areas such as parks, heritage sites, etc. 

Blue signs tell you of nearby service centers. 

South Carolina Road Signs

Route Number Signs

By far, the most interesting signs are route number signs — these come in different shapes and colors. 

The best way to understand these route signs is to consult a map and look for the number.

South Carolina Road Signs

South Carolina Pavement Markings

Now, for the last part – pavement markings!

Pavement markings are lines, arrows, symbols, and words found on the road to give directions and warnings. They also mark crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and the flow of traffic. 

Check out the South Carolina pavement marking table below:

Yellow dashed lineDivides two-directional roadways. Passing is permitted.
Yellow dashed line with solid yellow lineDivides two-directional roadways. Passing is permitted on the side of the dashed lines but not on the solid line side. 
Two solid yellow linesDivides two-directional roadways. Passing is not allowed in both directions.
White dashed lineDivides one-direction roadways. Passing is permitted
Reversible lanesThe lane can change the direction of the traffic flow. 

You can go in the direction you’re going if the lane has a green arrow. 

If it becomes a yellow X, you must leave the lane as it is about to turn red. 

If there is a red X, you are not allowed to use that lane as it is for the traffic moving in the opposite direction. 
Shared Center Left Turn LaneThe center lane is only used for left turns
CrosswalksIndicate where pedestrians are allowed to cross. Vehicles are required to stop at the stop line before the crosswalk. 


So those were the South Carolina road signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings. 

If you familiarize yourself with the shapes and colors, as well as the different types of signs — it’ll be a lot easier to know their meaning. 

In turn, this will help you ACE that knowledge test…

Avoid those annoying tickets…

And be the best and safest driver out there. 

Drive safely!

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