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Know your Traffic Signs

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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. Click the image below to see all the traffic signs and their meanings.

Goverment provided PDF file that is called "Know your Traffic signs"

Keeping up to date.

We live in times of change. Society, technology and the economy all play their part in changing the way we travel. New road signs conveying new messages and in new formats are introduced from time to time, so drivers or riders who passed their driving test a few years ago need to keep up to date or run the risk of failing to understand or comply with recently introduced signs.

A few examples of events that called for new signs include:

•  Britain’s first motorway

•  Pelican crossings

•  Reintroduction of trams

•  Advanced stop lines

•  Vehicle-activated signs

•  Active Traffic Management

Having experience is all very well, but it’s not enough if your knowledge is out of date.

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 link cities, 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.

Information available under the Open Government Licence OGL.

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