You see them everywhere.
But do you know what they mean?
If not, don’t worry.
Today, we’re going to go through all the South Dakota road signs, as well as its traffic signals and pavement markings.
This way, you can obey each one and stay clear of danger — and avoid getting those annoying tickets.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in!
South Dakota Traffic Signals
Experienced drivers, new drivers, non-drivers — everyone probably knows the traffic signals.
However, that does not mean we should skip it.
Also, you might not know about the modern Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB).
So let’s quickly go over the South Dakota traffic signals, namely:
- Vehicle signals
- Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon
Vehicle signals, or traffic lights, are usually found in intersections.
These signals tell when a vehicle should stop, slow down, or go.
A red light means that all traffic going in the signal’s direction should stop before the stop line or crosswalk.
A yellow light warns drivers that the red light is about to turn on. They should either slow down if they are not yet in the intersection OR quickly cross the intersection if they’ve already entered it.
A green light means that drivers can continue in the direction they’re going.
These signals can also be in the form of arrows — which means the same thing but only applies to the direction the arrow is pointing to.
Then, there are flashing red and yellow lights.
A red flashing light tells you to come to a complete stop, look around, and proceed if it is safe to do so.
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon
The Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, or PHB, allows pedestrians to safely cross busy highways and roadways.
As a driver, you need to know what the signals in the PHB mean.
A dark PHB means that you can proceed.
If a pedestrian hits the ‘activate’ button, the lower signal will flash a yellow light, which will then turn to a solid yellow.
The flashing yellow tells you that the beacon was activated. A solid yellow means that the light is about to turn red.
In both cases, you must slow down and prepare to stop.
When both the upper signals turn red, all the vehicles must stop.
As the red lights start to flash, pedestrians should quickly clear the road.
When the PHB turns dark again, vehicles can proceed.
South Dakota Traffic Signs
Let’s move on to traffic signs.
This can be a bit more confusing as these signs have a range of meanings.
Not to mention, there are LOTS of road signs out there.
Now, in South Dakota, there are 5 main traffic signs. These are:
- Warning Signs
- Railroad Crossing Signs
- Work Zone Signs
- Regulatory Signs
- Guide Signs
Let’s look at each one.
Warning signs are easy to spot.
These are yellow and fluorescent yellow-green and are usually diamond-shaped.
As you might guess, the purpose of these signs is to warn you of dangers, hazards, or any road conditions/obstacles you need to be aware of to act appropriately.
Here are some of the warning signs in South Dakota:
Railroad Crossing Signs
Railroad crossing signs come in different shapes and sizes.
The yellow sign with an X down the middle surrounded by two Rs indicates that you should come to a stop and survey the tracks.
If there isn’t any train coming, then you can proceed forward.
The white cross with “railroad crossing” down the middle means that you should come to a stop before the indicated line. Allow any trains to pass through before proceeding.
A railroad crossing with two tracks will have the following signs posted below. This means traffic should proceed only when it is safe to do so, and with extra precaution to avoid getting caught up.
Work Zone Signs
Work zone signs are similar to warning signs — only this time, it is colored orange and is focused on construction work.
And it’s not just signs.
Work zones can have cones, barricades, flashing lights, and flaggers.
When you see these, always slow down and follow the stated directions to avoid any obstacles or hazards.
Work zone signs may also indicate whether roadworks have led to a portion of the road being closed.
These signs will guide you according to the road conditions.
Regulatory signs are usually square or rectangular, with a few exceptions here and there (the stop sign and yield sign).
What’s more, it’s usually colored white, black, and red.
These signs inform drivers of regulations in the area they’re driving in. This means that, if you break it, you’ll most likely face a ticket.
Here are some common signs you’ll likely encounter on South Dakota roadways:
In South Dakota, you’ll meet 3 types of guide signs:
- Route number signs
- Service signs
- Destination signs
Route number signs come in weird shapes and different colors. These tell you the route of the area you’re in. You need a road map to determine the route.
Service signs are colored blue and indicate nearby services, such as rest areas, gas stations, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
Destination signs are green. These direct you to certain areas.
South Dakota Pavement Markings
Finally, let’s look at the pavement markings in South Dakota.
Pavement markings help indicate the rules of the road, such as passing and driving directions.
Broken white lines are for vehicles going in the same direction. Broken lines allow vehicles to pass others carefully.
Broken yellow lines indicate that traffic is flowing in opposite directions. This allows for passing only if it is safe to do so.
Solid yellow lines and broken yellow lines indicate that the drive on the side of the broken line is permitted to pass. However, if you’re on the solid yellow line, you are NOT allowed to pass.
Two solid yellow lines forbid passing for all vehicles in both lanes. Passing will be allowed only when the solid lines break up.
Besides those, there are also stop lines and crosswalk markings. You must stop before these markings to allow pedestrians to cross.
A shared center lane means that vehicles are permitted to make left turns or u-turns through the center lane when it is safe to do so. You cannot travel in that lane if not making a turn.
Now you’re familiar with the South Dakota road signs.
Not just that, but you know about the traffic signals and pavement markings, too.
All this will help you be a better and safer driver — as well as help you avoid getting ticketed.
And if you’re still studying for your permit test, then this will help you ACE it.
So make sure to go through the signals, signs, and markings again.
Familiarize yourself with them all — if not the signs, at least the colors and shapes to get an idea of their meaning.