Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information
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Signs and their meanings
Most of us use the roads on a daily basis. With the vast amount
of road signs that we are faced with we can easily get confused
by not being sure what they mean, the Road Sign section lists
the most recent road signs, for learner drivers it is very helpful
with the signs clearly grouped and easy to find this section
on road sign meanings should help in recognizing road signs
Why know your traffic signs?
Traffic signs play a vital role in directing, informing and
controlling road users' behaviour in an effort to make the roads
as safe as possible for everyone. This makes a knowledge of
traffic signs essential. Not just for new drivers or riders
needing to pass their theory test, but for all road users, including
experienced professional drivers.
Responsibility for traffic signs
Responsibility for the road network in the UK is split among:
the Highways Agency in England
the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales
the Scottish Executive in Scotland
and local or regional highway authorities.
The central administrations above are responsible for the UKs
strategic road network. Strategic roads are the highways that
linkcities, areas of population, ports and airports. Most motorways
and some A roads are strategic roads.
Local or regional highway authorities are responsible for local
roads, and this includes a few motorways, all other A roads
and all other public roads. While responsibility for placing,
erecting and maintaining traffic signs is split among these
bodies, it is important that signs are consistent both in appearance
and in the way they are used.
To ensure that the UK has a uniform traffic signing system,
signs must conform to the designs prescribed in the Traffic
Signs Regulations and General Directions (although some signs
may have been specially authorised by the Secretary of State).
The Traffic Signs Manual, published by TSO, provides detailed
guidance for those responsible for designing and installing
There are three basic types of traffic sign: signs that give
orders,signs that warn and signs that give information. Each
type has adifferent shape. A further guide to the function of
a sign is itscolour. All triangular signs are red.
circles generally give a mandatory instruction,such as
"turn left", or indicate a route available only to particular
classes of traffic, e.g. buses and cycles only
Red rings or circles tell you what you must not
do, e.g. you must not exceed 30 mph, no vehicles over
the height shown may proceed
rectangles are used for information signs except on motorways
where blue is used for direction signs
rectangles are used for direction signs on primary routes
used for direction signs on non-primary routes, or for
plates used in combination with warning and regulatory
are a few exceptions to the shape and colour rules, to
give certain signs greater prominence. Examples are the
"STOP" and "GIVE WAY" signs
The words "must" or "must not", when used in the descriptionsthat
follow, refer to legal requirements that have to be obeyed.