Are orange construction-zone speed sign speeds mandatory?


From: Sgt. Troy Christianson
Minnesota State Patrol

Question: 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 are also some orange signs posted? I’ve seen some construction zones with white and orange signs posted 55 mph and then some orange signs with 35 mph speed signs. What is the legal speed limit?

Answer: 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.


Red: Prohibits and commands
White: Regulates
Yellow: Warns
Yellow-green: Warns and controls pedestrian and bicycle crossings and school areas
Orange: Warns and control in construction zones


Green: Guides and informs
Blue: Describes services for motorists
Brown: Indicates historic, cultural, or recreational sites

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minn., 55901-5848. You may also reach him at


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