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When I was a kid I asked my Dad about the cautionary road sign that said "Watch for Ice on Bridge". Dad told me that every so often the people form the local radio station would place a block of ice on a bridge and if you called in to the radio station and reported it before the ice melted you would win a prize.
For the longest time I always thought that the road signs alerting you to a winding road ahead (with the car and the windy marks behind its tires)... meant watch out for drunk drivers. I couldn't figure out how they knew that there would always be drunk drivers in that area, and whenever we passes a car I always help my breath and hoped that it wouldn't run into us. I didn't figure the sign's true meaning until I took my drivers training course at age 15!
When I was younger I asked my mom why you had to go slow past a school (school zones) and she told me it was in case a kid ran out in front of the car you would be able to stop quick enough to get out and spank them. I was VERY careful not get off the sidewalk when I was at school for a long time after that!
I used to see "End Road Work" signs, and thought they were a sort of protest.
When I was little, I lived in California where U-Turns where the norm. (For those that don't know, a U-turn is where you make a sharp left turn at an intersection to go back the way you came.) For some reason, I thought a U-turn was an intersection where the drivers argued about who was going to turn... "You turn."... "No, YOU turn!"... "No, no, really, YOU turn!!"... Ah, well... I never did see anyone arguing about who was going to turn so I couldn't figure out the purpose of the signs which authorized this activity!
When I was a little kid I used to believe that the handicap parkingspots with the Wheelchair on them was actually meant for wheelchair parking. That people would leave their weelchair there and walk away. Everytime I saw a car parked in a handicap space I got really mad at the driver.
I used to believe that the UK road signs saying 'Heavy Plant Crossing' meant that my Gran's Banana Plant had gone for a walk from her house and was crossing the road ahead. I never saw it...
i always thought the signs on the roads that said "EMERGENCY STOPPING ONLY" said "EMERGENCY SHOPPING ONLY" and i thought that if it were christmas eve and you haven't bought any gifts yet you could shop there and there was a mall or something near by.
When I was a kid, I knew that a "dead end" was where the road ended before joining another road, but I thought that if you drove down to a dead end, you couldn't go back and you had to stay there until you died. Hence the term "dead end".
I used to believe that the president hired little kids to take their yellow paint and paintbrushes to the road to paint the yellow lines on the road.
As a child and early teenager I always thought the One Way traffic signs were suggestions, like, "here is one way you can go," instead of, "this is the only way traffic is flowing."
My childhood home was near a cliffside. Along the road, there was a sign that read "falling rock" to warn motorists that loose rocks and sediment could roll onto the roadway. When I asked my father about the sign, he hold me that long ago, a Native American lost his son named "Falling Rock." He wandered away and no one had seen him since. The sign was to alert motorists to look for "Falling Rock." I spent so much time trying to find that damn kid. I was always looking for some kid in a loin cloth.
My brother told me that tarmac was white and that the road layers had to paint it all black before it was ready. This explained why roadworks took so long. I used to try and catch them doing the detail in the middle.
Well, you know those signs on the road meant for deer crossing, with the deer jumping against a yellow background? I used to think that all the deer would cross only at that sign ( much like humans and crosswalks) and I always wondered how the deers knew where to cross.
I asked my parents why so many roads in California were named after the Prime Minister of Israel (at the time, Menachem Begin). I had observed that almost every freeway we drove on was marked by a big sign saying "Begin Freeway".
I used to believe that the handicap symbol was a person sitting on a toilet, and the reason these parking spaces were near the entrance of a building was because that person really had to pee.
When I was little, and I saw the sign that said "Pedestrian Crossing," I thought that certain people were born "drivers" and certain people were born "pedestrians." We were a driver family, and I would look at the pedestrians and feel sorry for them.
When I was little I used to wonder how people got of streets that had 'No exit.' Then I reasoned that it meant that there was no exit for cars - I believed that you could drive your car in but you couldn't drive your car out, so you had to walk out....I had images of a street lined with cars that never moved.
I used to think that the Australian road sign "No Through Road" meant that you were only allowed in that street if you lived there or were visiting someone you knew. It was a few years later I learned that it just meant it didn't comeout into another street.
The street sign on my street was always getting knocked down by cars running into it, but the "Dead End Street" sign was always there so I thought I lived on Dead End Street. I always got angry when my mother ordered pizza using the wrong street name and was proven right every time because the pizza guy could never find our house.