Map showing world adoption of the MUTCD[citation needed]
  Adopted national MUTCD
  Adopted national MUTCD with state supplement
  Adopted state-specific MUTCD
  Adopted a country-specific equivalent to the MUTCD
  Adopted a mixture of the Vienna Convention and MUTCD

Road signs used by countries in the Americas are significantly influenced by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), first released in 1935, reflecting the influence of the United States throughout the region.[1] Other non-American countries using road signs similar to the MUTCD include Australia, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand. They, along with the US Virgin Islands, are also the only countries listed here which drive on the left—with the exception of Liberia and the Philippines (though partial), both of which drive on the right.

There are also a number of American signatories to the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Paraguay, and Suriname. Of those, only Chile, Cuba, and French Guiana have ratified the treaty.

Mandatory action signs in the Americas tend to be influenced by both systems. Nearly all countries in the Americas use yellow diamond warning signs. Recognizing the differences in standards across Europe and the Americas, the Vienna convention considers these types of signs an acceptable alternative to the triangular warning sign.[2] However, UN compliant signs must make use of more pictograms in contrast to more text based US variants. Indeed, most American nations make use of more symbols than allowed in the US MUTCD.

Unlike in Europe, considerable variation within road sign designs can exist within nations, especially in multilingual areas.

Trilingual stop sign in Mistissini, Quebec, Canada. Languages are Cree, English, and French.

Differences between MUTCD-influenced traffic signs

The main differences between traffic signs influenced by the MUTCD relate to:

Languages

Below is a table of the main languages used. (In non-English speaking countries, English is frequently included on signs near airports and tourist areas.)

  República Argentina Commonwealth of Australia República Federativa do Brasil ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា Canada       Canada República de Chile 中华人民共和国 República de Colombia Republik Indonesia Republic of Ireland Jamaica 日本国 Republic of Liberia Malaysia Estados Unidos Mexicanos New Zealand República de Panamá República del Perú Republic of the Philippines 대한민국 中華民國 ราชอาณาจักรไทย United States of America República Oriental del Uruguay Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam
Argentina Australia Brazil Cambodia Anglophone Canada Québec
Quebec
Chile China Colombia Indonesia Ireland Jamaica Japan Liberia Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Panama Peru Philippines South Korea Taiwan Thailand United States Uruguay Vietnam
Drives on the… Right Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right
Primary language Spanish English Portuguese Khmer English French Spanish Chinese Spanish Indonesian Irish and
English[3]
English Japanese English Malay Spanish English Spanish English Korean Chinese Thai English Spanish Vietnamese
Secondary language(s)
  • English
  • Indigenous languages
    On Indian reserves and some majority-Native-inhabited lands.
  • English
    Rare; used in Anglophone regions e.g. Montreal West and Nunavik.
  • English
  • Indigenous languagaes
    Rare; used on guide signs around popular tourist areas.
  • English
    On guide signs around popular tourist areas.
  • English
    Especially on guide signs.
  • English
  • English
  • English
  • Indigenous languages On some native reservations.
  • Spanish
    In Puerto Rico.
Typical typeface(s) FHWA (modified) FHWA FHWA (modified) Helvetica (English) Clearview, FHWA
(varies by province)
FHWA, Clearview (different fonts specified for different signs) Ruta CL,
formerly FHWA
FHWA,
Helvetica (English)
FHWA (modified) Clearview, formerly FHWA Transport FHWA Hiragino (Japanese) & Vialog (English),
formerly Helvetica (English)
Clearview, formerly FHWA LLM (for expressways) & Transport (for federal & state highways),
formerly FHWA
Tipografía México,
formerly FHWA
FHWA Helvetica FHWA (modified) Clearview,
formerly FHWA (still used on expressway sections)
Panno, formerly Helvetica (English) FHWA, Arial (English) FHWA (English) FHWA, Clearview
(varies by state)
Helvetica DIN 1451 (modified)

Differences in units

Road sign used in British Columbia, Canada, near the Canada–US border to remind US drivers that Canada uses the metric system.
Metric signage reminder in Quebec, Canada often found after ports of entry from the US.
Sign at the Republic of Ireland–United Kingdom border indicating that limits in the Republic are shown in km/h.
Blue metric conversion reminder sign used in Ontario, Canada near the US border.

Color differences

Warning signs

Countries in yellow use MUTCD-style diamond warning signs. See image description page for large image and legend.

Road works and construction

Regulatory signs

Mandatory or permitted-action signs
Various color schemes for mandatory signs. See image description page for large image and legend.

Highway and wayfinding signs

Gallery of guide signs

Table of traffic signs comparison

Warning

  República Argentina
Argentina
 
Commonwealth of Australia
Australia
 
República Federativa do Brasil
Brazil
 
ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា
Cambodia
 
Canada
Canada
 
British Columbia
Canada -
British Columbia
Ontario
Canada -
Ontario
Québec
Canada -
Quebec
República de Chile
Chile
 
中华人民共和国
China
 
República de Colombia
Colombia
 
Republik Indonesia
Indonesia
 
Republic of Ireland
Ireland
 
Jamaica
Jamaica
 
日本国
Japan
 
Republic of Liberia
Liberia
 
Malaysia
Malaysia
 
Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Mexico
 
New Zealand
New Zealand
 
República de Panamá
Panama
 
República del Perú
Peru
 
Republic of the Philippines
Philippines
 
대한민국
South Korea
 
中華民國
Taiwan
 
ราชอาณาจักรไทย
Thailand
 
United States of America
United States
 
República Oriental del Uruguay
Uruguay
 
Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam
Vietnam
 
Stop sign ahead


Not used ? ?
Yield / Give Way sign ahead Not used


Not used ? ? ?
Traffic signals ahead
Roundabout ahead
[b]
Two-way traffic ahead
Uncontrolled railroad crossing ahead
Level railroad crossing with barriers ahead
[c]

[c]

[c]

[c]

[c]

or

[c]

[c]

[c]

or

[c]
Tram / streetcar crossing N/A
[d]
Not used Not used Not used N/A
[d]
N/A
[d]
Not used N/A
[d]
Not used N/A
[d]
N/A
[d]
Not used N/A
[d]
Not used N/A
[d]
N/A
[d]
Not used
[e]
Railroad crossbuck
or
Not used
or

or
Level crossing (multiple tracks)
or




Not used ? Not used Not used Not used
or
Not used Not used ? ? Not used
Argentina Australia Brazil Cambodia Canada Canada
(British Columbia)
Canada
(Ontario)
Canada
(Quebec)
Chile China Colombia Indonesia Ireland Jamaica Japan Liberia Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Panama Peru Philippines South Korea Taiwan Thailand United States Uruguay Vietnam
Crossroads ahead










Junction with a side road ahead







Traffic merges ahead
or
?
Staggered crossroads ahead ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Added lane ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Not used ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Divided highway ahead ? ? Not used ? ?
Divided highway ends ? ? Not used ? ?
Lane ends ahead
Road narrows ahead
or

[f]
Narrow bridge ahead ? Not used Not used ?
Dangerous crosswinds ? ? ? Not used ?
[g]
Low-flying aircraft ? ? ? Not used ? ?
Steep hill downwards
and
Steep hill upwards Not used
[h]
Not used Not used
and
Argentina Australia Brazil Cambodia Canada Canada
(British Columbia)
Canada
(Ontario)
Canada
(Quebec)
Chile China Colombia Indonesia Ireland Jamaica Japan Liberia Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Panama Peru Philippines South Korea Taiwan Thailand United States Uruguay Vietnam
Uneven surface
Bump in road
or

[10]
Dip in road ? ?
[i]
Not used Not used ? ? ? ?
Ford ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
or
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Snow/ice ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Fog ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Slippery road surface
Loose road surface
[j]

or

[j]

[j]
Not used
[j]
?
[j]
Not used Not used ? Not used ?
Dangerous shoulder ? ? ? ?
[j]

[j]

[j]
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Pavement ends ? ? ? ? ? Not used ? Not used ? Not used ? ? ? ? ?
Gentle curve ahead ? ?
Sharp curve ahead ? ? ?
Double gentle curve ahead ? ? ? Not used ? ? ?