This paper presents a quantitative comparison of several segmentation methods (including new ones) that have successfully been used in traffic sign recognition. The methods presented can be classified into color-space thresholding, edge detection, and chromatic/achromatic decomposition. Our support vector machine (SVM) segmentation method and speed enhancement using a lookup table (LUT) have also been tested. The best algorithm will be the one that yields the best global results throughout the whole recognition process, which comprises three stages: 1) segmentation; 2) detection; and 3) recognition. Thus, an evaluation method, which consists of applying the entire recognition system to a set of images with at least one traffic sign, is attempted while changing the segmentation method used. This way, it is possible to observe modifications in performance due to the kind of segmentation used. The results lead us to conclude that the best methods are those that are normalized with respect to illumination, such as RGB or Ohta Normalized, and there is no improvement in the use of Hue Saturation Intensity (HSI)-like spaces. In addition, an LUT with a reduction in the less-significant bits, such as that proposed here, improves speed while maintaining quality. SVMs used in color segmentation give good results, but some improvements are needed when applied to achromatic colors.