To help you become a better driver and help you avoid those petty traffic tickets, you should be aware of the different special traffic zones and traffic signs.

Many people get tickets for their ignorance of these special zones and signs because they think as long as they know how to drive everything else will follow.

To help you get rid of this traffic ticket inducing ignorance, here is a guide to California's special traffic zones and traffic signs.

Let us start with traffic signs.

The shape and color of the traffic sign will tell you a lot about the traffic sign like:

  • Red octagon "stop" sign means you have to make a full stop before a crosswalk or at a white limit line before you can proceed.

  • Red inverted triangle "yield" sign means you must slow down and be ready to stop if needed.

  • Square red and white signs generally mean that you have to follow instructions like "Do not enter" or "Wrong Way."

  • Red circles with a red line across always means "NO," and usually have no words included like "No U-Turn" and "No Left Turn"

  • Yellow diamond signs generally conveys warnings like crossroads, slippery when wet, and merging traffic.

  • White signs are regulatory signs like speed limits and keep right signs.

  • Yellow circles with black "x" across means you are approaching a railroad crossing.

  • X Shaped signs means railroad crossing.

For special traffic zones:

  • Carpool/HOV Lanes – This is a lane in the freeway that can only be used by buses, motorcycles and carpools. There is always a sign on the ramp that indicates the minimum number of occupants to be considered carpool and the time when the carpool requirements apply.

  • Bike Lane – Recognized by a solid white line along the side of the street at least four feet from the curb.

  • Cone zone – Cones and/or drums usually surround an area where construction or road maintenance is being done. Message boards saying warning of workers are also present.

  • Safety Enhanced-Double Fine zone – An area that is considered high risk for accident can be converted into a double fine zone where fines are doubled for traffic infractions. This is to discourage motorists from speeding and other moving violations.

These are just some of the special traffic zones and traffic signals that you should know about.

Knowing these not only helps you avoid car accidents but also makes you a more responsible driver.