Regulatory and Advisory Signs
Drivers are often confused about the difference between a regulatory sign and an advisory sign. A regulatory sign generally has black characters or symbols on a white background and an advisory sign has black characters or symbols on a yellow background. So, what's the difference?
The regulatory sign must be obeyed exactly as it is read. Examples of regulatory signs include speed limits, turn restrictions, parking restrictions and directional instructions. Failure to obey these signs is an offence and the driver may be charged if they choose not to follow the instruction.
An advisory sign is just that, advice that you may choose to take or ignore as your experience and the conditions dictate. Examples of advisory signs are the speed tabs found under curve signs or the slow sign displayed by flag persons. Failure to obey these signs is only an offence if something happens as a result of ignoring the advice and the offence is generally for the misadventure that occurs.
Need a quick brush up on what road signs mean? Drop by your local Driver Service Center (where you renew your driver's licence) and ask for a free copy of Learn to Drive Smart. The signs, signals and road markings are explained in Chapter 3. This information is also available on ICBC's web site at www.icbc.com