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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.

Road Signs


Road 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.

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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 UK’s 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 traffic signs.

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.

Give Orders

Blue 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

Blue rectangles are used for information signs except on motorways where blue is used for direction signsGreen rectangles are used for direction signs on primary routes
White used for direction signs on non-primary routes, or for plates used in combination with warning and regulatory signs 

There 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 descriptions that follow, refer to legal requirements that have to be obeyed.

The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002

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