what is extreme caution?

On my way to the ferry there is some construction going on and I see this sign everyday “Motorcycles use Extreme Caution”

I have been seeing this sign all over Washington State–and am assuming it is the same elsewhere in the country.

What exactly does it mean? Wouldn’t “Motorcycles use Caution” be sufficient? Doesn’t the word caution mean to be careful? So does the sign mean to be extra careful? So in my car I only need to be careful–but motorcyclists needs to be extremely careful? I keep thinking it is a part of the ‘extreme’ sports phenomena :slight_smile:

Linguist I am not (obviously!) but is this redundant or am I misreading it somehow?

I assume the reason for the sign is that there may be loose gravel on the road during construction. For a car, loose gravel is no big deal, but for a motorcyclist not watching for it, the results can be fatal.

that I understand–but wouldn’t just ‘motorcycles use caution’ do the same thing? I guess I am trying to figure out what extreme caution is.

But maybe you are right–The signs are just saying that it is construction and cars use caution–but the loose gravel creates a more hazardous condition for motorcycles and thus they need to be extremely cautious. Could be!

In my country motorcycles can’t read and paint is cheap, so we can afford to use proper English expressions. Our signs say : “Mototorcyclists Should Use Extreme Caution”.

well just another example of American supremacy then I suppose!

I thought…damn did I get the sign wrong?
Nope drove by it again this morning and it says “motorcycles use extreme caution”
so obviously our motorcycles here in the US are sentient

How long will it be before the American motorcycle underclass rises up and throws off its leather-clad oppressors?

Well, that was an interesting diversion, but here’s what it means. On some highways, the concrete is grooved to reduce hydroplaning. It does that, but it also makes a motorcycle’s tires tend to wander sideways. If the rider is aware of it, he can compensate, but if he’s never encountered grooving, it can be a nasty surprise.

“Motorcycles Use Caution” = Slow down a little and pay extra attention like you would passing through a yellow light.

“Motorcycles Use Extreme Caution” = The stuff on the road here is bad news for you. Take your already increased risk of death and multiply it by 100. You understand what we are saying?

It is an intensifier. I don’t understand what is so hard about it. Caution <> Extreme caution. Caution is looking both ways before you cross a country road. Extreme caution is required to successfully run across a busy freeway to rescue your cat.