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“ASK A TROOPER” What do the different color speed limit signs in "Work Zones" mean?

by Tim Anderson

ASK A TROOPER by Sgt. Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol

Question: With the new law of $300 fines in construction zones I have a question. I know the white speed limit sign is the legal speed limit. Are orange signs supposed to be advisory or warning signs? Can you get a ticket for going the speed of the white sign when there is also some orange signs posted? Ive seen some construction zones with white and orange signs posted 55mph and then some orange signs with 35mph speed signs. What is the legal speed limit?

Answer: You are correct; motorists who speed through a work zone will be fined $300 (effective August 1, 2014) thanks to a new law passed during the 2014 state legislative session.

The white speed limit signs are the official regulatory sign. The orange signs serve as a warning; even though they are not regulatory they are intended to provide clear instructions to help you drive safely. So if the posted speed limit is 55 mph, and you see an orange sign indicating 35 mph, I would recommend slowing to the indicated speed. Minnesota signs, signals, and pavement markings conform to the national standards. Sign Color Meanings:

Regulatory

Red: Prohibits and commands

White: Regulates

Warning

Yellow: Warns

Yellow-green: Warns and controls pedestrian and bicycle crossings and school areas

Orange: Warns and control in construction zones

Informational

Green: Guides and informs

Blue: Describes services for motorists

Brown: Indicates historic, cultural, or recreational sites

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us ).