Question: With the law of $300 fines in construction zones, I have a question. I know the white and black 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? I’ve 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: If you are cited for speeding in a marked and posted construction zone, the amount of the fine is $300, and that does not include other fees that will be attached.

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. The orange and black speed limit signs are not enforceable, but you could be issued a citation for failing to drive with due care in the event of a crash or near collision.

MS 169.14 Duty to drive with due care. No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. Every driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards then existing on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle. In every event speed shall be so restricted as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.

Below you’ll find a list of common traffic sign colors and their meanings:

Red: Almost always, red means stop. A red traffic sign either signals you to stop your vehicle or prohibits entry.

Green: Green means go. A green traffic sign signals that you can proceed, or provides you with direction on where to proceed.

Yellow: Yellow stands for caution. A yellow traffic sign serves as a general warning.

Black and White: Black and white traffic signs provide posted regulations (i.e., speed limits).

Orange: Orange signals construction time. If you see an orange traffic sign, you will likely encounter construction or road maintenance ahead.

Brown: Brown traffic signs reference local recreation areas or scenic points of interest.

Blue: Blue stands for guidance. Blue traffic signs often offer information to assist motorists.

Minnesota signs, signals, and pavement markings conform to the national standards.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us) Twitter: MSPPIO_SOUTH

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