Road Safety And Caution Signs

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Traffic signs

 

Traffic signs warn you of possible dangers and provide information. They tell you what the rules are and what the road conditions are like.

 

Regulatory signs

Regulatory signs tell you about laws that must be obeyed.

Except for STOP, GIVE WAY and ROUNDABOUT signs, most regulatory signs are rectangles. They are usually black on a white background. Sometimes they also have a colour such as red. Some parking signs are green on white.

Some of the most common regulatory signs are shown on this page.

Left image:Image Keep to the left of this sign. Centre image:Do not drive beyond this sign. Right image:You must not turn right or make a U turn.
Left image:Image Keep to the left of this sign. Centre image:Do not drive beyond this sign. Right image:You must not turn right or make a U turn.
Left image:This street now has lanes travelling in opposite directions.Centre image:You must not make a U turn. Right image:You must keep to the r
Left image:You must not make a U turn. Centre image:You must keep right. Right image:This street now has lanes travelling in opposite directions.
Left image: All traffic in the left lane must turn left. Right image: You must turn right.
Left image: All traffic in the left lane must turn left. Right image: You must turn right.

 

Warning signs

Warning signs tell you that there may be dangers ahead. They are usually black on a yellow background and are mostly diamond shaped.

Pictures, diagrams and symbols are used to alert you to danger.

Showing three signs: Crossroads ahead, road ends ahead, and road changing to two lanes of oncoming traffic ahead.

Left image: Crossroads ahead. Centre image: The road you are travelling on ends, you must give way to all traffic. Right image: Road conditions will change ahead to two lanes of oncoming traffic.

Showing three signs: Road ahead curves to the right, there is a sharp right turn ahead and sharp bend to the left ahead.

Left image: The road ahead curves to the right. Centre image: There is a sharp right turn in the road ahead. Right image: Sharp bend to the left ahead

Showing three signs: Road divides ahead, divided road ends ahead and road narrows ahead.

Left image: Road divides ahead. Centre image: Divided road ends ahead. Right image: Road narrows ahead.

Showing three signs: A side road meets the road you are travelling on, winding road ahead and give way sign ahead.

Left image: A side road meets the road you are travelling on. Centre image: Winding road ahead. Right image: Give way sign ahead.

Showing three signs: stop sign ahead, pedestrian crossing ahead and pedestrians may be crossing ahead.

Left image: Stop sign ahead. Centre image: Pedestrian crossing ahead. Right image: Pedestrians may be crossing ahead.

Showing three signs: hospital ahead, look out for bicycle riders and road is slippery when wet.

Left image: Hospital ahead drive carefully. Centre image: Look out for bicycle riders. Right image: Road is slippery when wet.

Showing three signs, hump in road ahead, look out for kangaroos and crest ahead.

Left image: There is a hump in the road ahead(a hump is a sudden slope up and then down) Centre image:Look out for kangaroos. Right image: As you approach the hill ahead, you will not be able to see a safe distance in front of you. Drive carefully.

Showing two different signs: The road ahead is under water and grid ahead.

Left image: The road ahead is under water (a stream for example). Right image: Grid ahead. A grid is a row of metal lengths across the road.

Left images indicates slow moving vehicles,.Right image indicates narrow bridge ahead, slow down and be prepared to give way or stop.

Left image: Beware of slow moving vehicles entering traffic. Right image: Narrow bridge ahead, slow down and be prepared to give way or stop.

Left image is a sign advising drivers the road may be subject to floods. Right image is a sign showing the depth of floodwaters across the road.

Left image:This sign is used to advise drivers that the road ahead may be covered in floodwaters. Right image: This sign shows the depth of floodwaters across the road.

 

Advisory Signs

Advisory speed signs are sometimes used together with other signs. They show the maximum speed that is safe in good conditions.

Sometimes other signs are used together with warning signs to advise on how long you should look out for a particular hazard.

Road bends to right. 55 km/h maximum speed in good conditions.

 

Stock signs

When you see a sign with a picture of an animal, or words such as ‘stock crossing’, you may be approaching animals on or near the road.

You must slow down or stop to avoid crashing with them. Fines apply if you do not obey these signs.

Sign showing stock may be crossing ahead
Stock may be crossing ahead

Warning triangles for crashes and breakdowns

Warning triangles for crashes and breakdowns

Vehicles with a GVM over 12 tonnes must place a minimum of three warning triangles in breakdown situations. See Heavy Vehicle Drivers’ Handbook for details.

 

Variable message signs

Variable Message Signs are large electronic signs placed on the side of some roads.

They display messages to warn motorists of changes in normal traffic conditions on the road ahead, such as fog, crashes, road works, congestion and road closures.

These early warnings help provide a safe and efficient traffic flow.

Image showing a variable message sign with the text "KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING"
Variable message sign

 

Motorway signs

Motorway signs give information about the start and end of a motorway and the exits from a motorway.

Image showing four signs; two indicating the start and two incating the end of a motorway.
Left image: These signs indicate the start of a motorway. Right image: These signs indicate the end of a motorway.
Image showing two types of motorway exit signs
Left image: Exit from motorway in 2km. Right image: Exit from motorway now.

Sign indicating that buses have priority over other traffic

Priority for buses

In a built-up area a bus that has a GIVE WAY sign displayed and signals its intention to pull out from its stopping place, has priority over other traffic, travelling in the left lane or left line of traffic.

 

Temporary roadwork signs

These signs are used at roadworks. Slow down, look out for any hazards and be prepared to stop. You must obey any signal from a traffic controller and give way to any worker.

Image showing three signs
Left sign:Traffic controller ahead be prepared to stop(night).Centre sign:Traffic controller ahead be prepared to stop. Right sign:Workers ahead (day)
Image showing two signs; one when approaching roadworks and another when roadworks end.
Left sign:Approaching roadworks, slow down and be prepared to stop. Right sign: End road work.
Image showing two signs. Stop and slow sign, and prepare to stop.
Left image: These signs are held by traffic controllers. You must obey them. Right image: Slow down and prepare to stop.
Two types of motorway signs. One for road hazard ahead and another for temporary traffic lights in place.
Left image: Road hazard ahead. Merge lanes. Right image: Temporary traffic lights in place, stop here on red signal.
Image showing two signs. One for when there arev no lines marked on road and the other for when there is a closed lane ahead.
Left sign: No lines marked on road. Take care if overtaking. Right sign: Closed lane ahead.
Image showing two signs. One warning drivers for loose stones and the other indicating that there is a 40km/h speed limit for road work.
Left sign: Watch out for loose stones. Right sign: 40km/h speed limit for road work.
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