Signals, road signs and markings

Road signs, markings and signals are there to help you drive safely and to keep traffic flowing. It’s vital that you understand what the different signals, signs and markings mean and what to do when you see them.

When you’re driving a passenger-carrying vehicle (PCV), you’ll need to look out for signs that apply to it such as those showing height, width and weight restrictions.

  • Circular signs tell you what you must or must not do. These include signs showing the maximum height, width or weight of vehicle that can legally use a route.
  • Warning signs are red and usually triangular. Heights, widths and weights shown on these tell you the maximum size of vehicle that can safely use the route.
  • Road markings give information, orders or warnings.

Look at The Highway Code and Know Your Traffic Signs for details of all the signs and markings.

The speed limit is shown on a circular sign. Where no speed limit is shown, the national speed limits (GOV.UK) apply. These vary depending on the type of road on which you’re driving and the type of vehicle you’re driving.

Signals can be used by police officers, crossing patrols and other people who are authorised to control traffic such as DVSA and Highways England traffic officers. Make sure you know what these signals mean and what to do when you see them. The Highway Code contains a guide to these signals (GOV.UK).

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