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Do All Colors of Plastic Traffic Cones Convey the Same Meaning?

No matter where you are, traffic and the rules are always something that needs to be taken note of. Various traffic signs and traffic furniture are applied to the public to deliver information or send warnings. One of the prominent signs or indicators that we all come across is the plastic traffic cone. They are usually seen on the roads, construction sites, parking lots, etc. But do all colors of plastic traffic cones convey the same meaning? Let’s dive into the answer today.

Table of Contents

What Are Plastic Traffic Cones Usually Called?

As one of the most practical and cost-effective traffic control devices, traffic cones can be seen nearly everywhere, especially when there are undergoing construction and events. Plastic traffic cones have been given various names mainly according to the usage scenarios, such as construction cones, parking cones, road cones, caution cones, highway cones, etc. 

Traffic cones can close off a road and redirect traffic effectively with minimal effort. What’s more, they can be stacked up and transported with ease. With all those advantages, traffic safety cones are widely used beyond traffic control.

plastic traffic cone
plastic traffic cone from Skyhall Fence

Applications of Plastic Traffic Cones

Plastic traffic cones are usually used to redirect traffic or send an advance warning of hazards when there are roadwork or construction situations. They are also applied to mark ranges for sports fields and activities.

traffic cone applied in construction site

Traffic cones are frequently applied in the following situations:

  • Mark construction areas: They are often used to mark areas where construction or maintenance is taking place, warning drivers of workers and equipment ahead.
  • Create detours: Traffic cones are used to create temporary detours around accidents, road closures, or other incidents, helping to guide drivers safely away from the affected area.
  • Mark lane closures: Traffic cones can be used to mark off lanes that are closed due to construction or other reasons, helping to direct traffic into the remaining open lanes.
  • Mark parking places: Traffic cones can be used to mark off individual parking place, helping to ensure that vehicles are parked in the correct location.
  • Mar off-limits areas: Traffic cones can be used to mark areas that are off-limits to vehicles or pedestrians, helping to keep people safe and prevent accidents.

Different Types of Plastic Traffic Cones

The body of traffic cones is produced from granules and masterbatch. Different colors of cones are manufactured by changing the masterbatch. Reflective films are finally pasted onto the cones when the whole body is completed.

plastic traffic once reflective collar
reflective collar of traffic once from Skyhall Fence
2e0ba135 plastic traffic once reflective collar 1
reflective collar of traffic cones
traffic cone base
customizable logo on the traffic cone

Plastic traffic cones with different sizes and colors are produced to address different needs.

Traffic cone sizes

You may notice different sizes of traffic cones applied in our daily lives, including mini traffic cones, small traffic cones, and large traffic cones. To be specific, they usually come in 5”, 12”, 18”, 28”, and 36”. So what size of traffic cones do we need?

  • 5” traffic cone – The small traffic cone is great for home use, inside buildings, and other specialty uses where a smaller cone is best.  
  • 12” traffic cone – It’s often used as soccer cones for little league football, soccer, and other sports.
  • 18” traffic cone – It’s often used in large field sports and traffic control and comes with an optional reflective collar.
  • 28” traffic cone – It’s often used for traffic and road closure and comes with an optional reflective collar.
  • 36” traffic cone – It’s often used for traffic and road closure and comes with an optional reflective collar.

It’s important to remember that for daytime and low-speed applications, cones need to be 18 inches or taller and do not need reflective bands. Please be aware that it must be daytime and that traffic must be limited to 40 miles per hour or less.

For areas where traffic is going faster than 45 mph, you must use a 28- to 36-inch orange cone.  The cone must have two reflective bands. The top band must be 6″ tall, and the bottom band must be 4″ tall. And the space between the two bands needs to be 2″.

Use Plastic Traffic Cones to Close Roads

If you are using cones to close the road, they must be at least 28” in height. Obviously, only big caution cones are visible enough to draw the drivers’ attention far away and help them make the right decisions to avoid mistakes. Cones less than 28” are insufficient for this purpose.

If you are using cones for road closure at night, there should be two reflective collars on the cones. The reflective strips can be easily seen in the dark by motorists.

Traffic Cone Colors

Various colors of traffic cones are now available on the market to cater to different needs. Common colors of traffic cones include white, pink, red, orange, green, yellow, blue, and orange. Multiple color options are not only an expression of appearance diversity but are also designed for specific situations.

all colors of traffic cones
colorful traffic cones

Meanings for Different Colors of Plastic Traffic Cones

Orange Traffic Cones

Orange traffic cones are the most common type and are usually used to tell everyone that safety hazards are nearby. With that meaning, they’re often associated with construction sites or any project having to do with the use of heavy construction materials and equipment.

Yellow Traffic Cones

Yellow traffic cones are placed in areas that present a slight risk but aren’t an immediate danger. They’re meant to encourage individuals to proceed with caution and be aware of their surroundings. Because of this, they’re primarily used when live utility lines are being worked on or to encourage drivers to yield for potential construction traffic.

Green Traffic Cones

Lime green cones are cooler in color than the above two types. This makes them a great tool for service industries, as they can block off areas where utility work is happening. They also work well for marking the entrances to events and controlling any areas that see increased pedestrian activity.

Blue Traffic Cones

Blue traffic cones are used to mark accessible parking. OSHA uses blue to denote important information that is non-hazardous. Blue is also used to designate handicapped-only spaces.

White Traffic Cones

White marks areas that are considered safe. White is also a good backdrop for logos or to indicate the location of entrances, restrooms, etc. White cones are used for valet parking, equestrian events, and advertising displays.

Red Traffic Cones

Red connotes imminent danger with the chance of serious injury or death. Red traffic cones are used to mark workplace hazards and guide indoor machines around designated courses.

Pink Traffic Cones

Pink traffic cones are used for special events, branding, breast cancer awareness and events.


Plastic traffic cones were previously regarded as just mere orange pylons on the streets, keeping cars away from places they shouldn’t be. But things have changed a long way. More colorful traffic cones have come onto the market, enriching their colors while classifying their purpose more specifically. It’s better to know about the color code of traffic cones before using them.

If you are not sure what sizes and colors of plastic traffic cones are suitable for you, just turn to the traffic cone manufacturers directly. They will be more than happy to be of help.

Skyhall Fence - Professional Traffic Cone Manufacturer
We provide the best traffic cones and the most satisfying service to customers all over the world.