Traffic / Road signs

The different shapes and what the mean.

There are three different shaped traffic signs and the each tell us something different

Traffic sign shapes



All Triangular signs are RED – and the are WARNING signs.

For example

Traffic sign - Warning Traffic lights Warning – Traffic lights

Traffic sign - Warning RoundaboutWarning – Roundabout

Traffic sign - Warning Crossroads Warning – Crossroads (Priority indicated by the thickness of the lines)


CIRCULAR SIGNS – Giving orders.

Red Circles or Rings tell you what you MUST NOT do.

For example.

Traffic signs - No motorvehicles No Motor vehicles – you MUST NOT enter road if in/on a Motorized Vehicle).

Traffic sign - No OvertakingNo Overtaking – you MUST NOT overtake on this stretch of road. (The same sign with a line through signifies the restriction has finished) .

Traffic signs - No Entry No Entry – you MUST NOT enter the road from this side.



Blue Circles are usually mean something you MUST do

For example.

Traffic sign - Keep left Keep left – you MUST keep Left.

Traffic sign - Minimum speed Minimum speed 30 – you MUST travel at at least 30mph (if it is safe to do so).

Traffic sign RoundaboutRoundabout – you MUST travel Clockwise around the roundabout.





Blue rectangular signs are used for giving Information. (except on Motorways when they are for giving directions).

For example.

Traffic sign - Information One way Arrow pointing up – One Way Only

Traffic sign - Low bridge aheadThis advises a Low bridge ahead, it includes a Red Ring (Must Not) sign. Your vehicle MUST NOT be taller than the maximum height

Traffic sign - Bus lane with hours of operation This shows the start of a Bus/Cycle lane and also it’s hours of operation.

Motorway examples

Motorway sigm  Motorway – The Motorway starts here

Traffic sign - Information Directions Motorway Motorway exit sign giving directions


Green rectangular signs are used for directions on Primary (Main) Routes.

Traffic sign - Information Directions Primary route


White rectangular signs are used for directions on Secondary Routes.

Traffic sign - Information Directions Secondary route




Traffic sign - Give way

Give way, and the corresponding road markings – You must give way to traffic on the road you are about to join, but if clear you may continue on with out stopping.

Traffic sign - Stop sign

STOP! Your vehicle MUST come to a COMPLETE STOP at the junction. You must also give way to the traffic on the road you are about to join.



Traffic sign - NSL National speed limit applies – 60mph  (or 70mph on Motorways and Dual carriageways)

Traffic sign - Others No Stopping No Stopping – Not even to drop some off.

Traffic sign - Others No waiting No waiting – You can drop someone off, but must not wait. (This one is also in a white information box that shows it’s hours of operation.




Know your traffic signs bookFor a more detailed look at Traffic signs get a copy of Know Your Traffic Signs from the DVSA – Safe driving for life shop



Watch the Understanding Road Signs Video Tutorial
Take the Understanding Road Signs QUIZ