SMV Signs are not for marking driveways


Traffic studies show that two out of three highway accidents involving slow moving vehicles are rear end collisions and that ninety percent of these accidents happen during daylight hours. A slow moving vehicle sign (SMV) is a reflective orange triangle bordered with red that warns other road users that the vehicle displaying the sign is traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic. The use of the SMV sign reduces accidents and saves lives.

The SMV sign is for vehicles only. The use of a slow moving vehicle sign on a fixed object such as a roadside mailbox or as a driveway marker, is prohibited if it can be seen from the road. Slow moving vehicle signs attached to mailboxes or posts must be removed. Use reflectors or reflective tape instead.

Signs in poor condition provide little or no protection in traffic. Keep the sign clean for maximum visibility. Replace damaged or faded signs immediately. A faded sign will not be visible for the required 500 feet. When this occurs, the tractor or farm machinery and the operator’s life are in danger and the law is violated.

WI Statute 347.245 Identification emblem on certain slow moving vehicles:

(1) No person may operate on a highway any vehicle or equipment, any implement of husbandry, any animal-drawn vehicle, or any other machinery, including all road machinery, that usually travels at speeds of less than 25 miles per hour or any vehicle operated under a special restricted operator’s license issued under s.343.135 or any lightweight utility vehicle, as defined in s.346.94 (21) (a) 2., unless there is displayed on the most practicable visible rear area of the vehicle or combination of vehicles, a slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem as described in and displayed as provided in sub.

(2). Any towed vehicle or machine is exempt from this provision if the towing vehicle is visible from the rear and is in compliance with this section. All road machinery is excluded when it is engaged in actual construction or maintenance work either guarded by a flagman or clearly visible warning signs. The requirement of the emblem shall be in addition to any lighting devices required or permitted by law. Mopeds and motor bicycles are excluded from the provisions of this section unless they are operated under a special restricted operator’s license issued under s.343.135. Electric scooters, electric personal assistive mobility devices, and personal delivery devices are excluded from the provisions of this section. The SMV emblem need not be displayed on vehicles moving directly across the highway.

(3) No person shall display such emblem on a roadway, except as provided in sub. (1), nor on roadside stationary objects such as mailboxes or signposts and no such emblem shall be used as a clearance marker for wide vehicles. No slow moving vehicle actually engaged in construction or maintenance guarded by a flagman or clearly visible warning signs need remove the slow moving vehicle emblem.

(4) No person shall display such emblem on any vehicle or equipment not specified in sub. (1).