Yellow speed signs breed misunderstanding


The in basket: Diane V., who doesn’t want her full name used, and Barbara Burritt asked similar questions about speed advisory signs in Silverdale.

Diane was confused by a 25-mile-per-hour sign at the head of the upper on-ramp from Newberry Hill Road to southbound Highway 3. 

And Barbara found similar signs at the new interchange where Highway 3 meets Highway 303 puzzling.


At  the 25 mph sign on Newberry, “This ramp has a sharper curve than most ramps, goes downhill, and then very briefly merges with another ramp before merging with the freeway” says Diane.

“How far down the ramp does the 25-mph sign relate to?”, she asked.  “If I try staying at 25 mph all the way down the ramp, I feel like I’m risking getting hit by someone behind me who is moving faster.” 

Barbara thought the exit speed signs at the new interchange seem mixed up.

“If you are heading south on Highway 3, the posted exit speed is 45 mph when in just a few hundred feet there is a traffic light, left turn or right turn and merge to 35 mph.

 “If you are heading north on 3, the posted exit speed is 30 mph when it’s just a sweeping exit up to a merge where traffic is picking up speed for the 55 mph just a couple hundred feet east on Waaga Way,” she said.

The out basket: All three signs are yellow, not black and white, so are advisory only. The 25 and 30 signs suggest caution due to curves the driver must negotiate. 

You can’t be pulled over and cited for disregarding those signs, and certainly you should be up to freeway speed at Newberry before reaching the merge.

You can get a ticket if you disregard such a sign and have a wreck as a result. But it would be for something other than speeding. 

Anyway, I’ve yet to encounter a curve with an advisory sign that can’t comfortably be negotiated at 10 mph faster than the sign advises. I’ve never tried it in a motor home or large truck, though. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Enter the word yellow here: