This article is a summary of traffic signs used in each country.

Africa

Generally, road signs in African countries closely follow those used in Europe, but most African countries have not ratified the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.[1]

Although the Trans-African Highway network exists, Trans-African route numbers, however, are not signed at all in any African country, except Kenya and Uganda where the MombasaNairobiKampalaFort Portal section (or the Kampala–Kigali feeder road) of Trans-African Highway 8 is sometimes referred to as the "Trans-Africa Highway".[2]

In member states of the Southern African Development Community such as Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe road signs are based on the SADC Road Traffic Signs Manual,[3][4][5] a document designed to harmonise traffic signs in these countries. However, not all member states have adopted the SADC-RTSM, and those that have may not use all signs listed in the SADC-RTSM or may use regional variations. The typeface is DIN 1451, with the exceptions of Angola (using Portuguese-inherited Transport, Republic of the Congo (using the French Caractères) and older signs in Tanzania (using British-inherited Transport and Namibia (using Highway Gothic).

"T" junction road sign on a desert track in Niger.
Traffic sign in Eritrea

Angola

Main article: Road signs in Angola

Road signs in Angola are particularly modelled on the Portuguese road signs since Angola is a former Portuguese colony. Since the country is a member of the Southern African Development Community, road signs are going to be harmonised with the traffic signs in member states of the Community according to the SADC Road Traffic Signs Manual. The font used is a variation of Transport.

Botswana

Main article: Road signs in Botswana

The font used is DIN 1451. Highways use white text on green backgrounds.

Burundi

Road signs in Burundi are standardized road signs and closely follow those used in Italy with certain distinctions. They are written in French with all-uppercase Transport.

Eswatini

Main article: Road signs in Eswatini

The font used is DIN 1451.

Lesotho

Main article: Road signs in Lesotho

The font used is DIN 1451.

Mauritius

Main article: Road signs in Mauritius

Road signs in Mauritius are regulated by the Traffic Signs Regulations 1990. They are particularly modelled on the British road signs since Mauritius is a former British colony. Mauritius has left-hand traffic. The font used is Transport.

Namibia

Main article: Road signs in Namibia

The font used is Highway Gothic or DIN 1451.

Sierra Leone

Road signs in Sierra Leone are standardized road signs and closely follow those used in Italy with certain distinctions.[citation needed] They are written in English using all-uppercase Transport.

South Africa

Main article: Road signs in South Africa

The font used is DIN 1451.

Tanzania

Main article: Road signs in Tanzania

The font used is all-uppercase DIN 1451.

Uganda

Main article: Road signs in Uganda

Road signs in Uganda are particularly modelled on the British road signs since the country is a former British colony. Uganda has left-hand traffic. The font used is Transport.

Zambia

Main article: Road signs in Zambia

Asia

Traffic sign demonstrating direction to Kuwait City, Kuwait

Road signs in Asia differ by country. Typically, Asian countries closely follow Europe in terms of road sign design, which means they are influenced by both the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and road signage standards of the European Union.[1] In Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, conventions in signage tend to resemble United States signage conventions more so than European and Asian conventions (resulting in warning signs being diamond and yellow instead of triangular and white), the only difference being the use of blue circle instead of the letter E or P.

Asian Highway signs are marked using white letters on a dark blue background. In Turkey and Russia, European route numbers are indicated using white characters on a green rectangle and are signposted; however this is not the case in many other Asian countries.

Armenia

Main article: Road signs in Armenia

Road signs in Armenia are similar to those used in the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991. Modern road signs used in Armenia generally maintain the same design as those used in Russia, with the exception that inscriptions on road signs are written in both Armenian and English, and the "Stop sign" is written in these two languages. The font used is GOST 10807-78.

Azerbaijan

Main article: Road signs in Azerbaijan

The font used is Arial.

Bangladesh

Main article: Road signs in Bangladesh

The font used for the Latin script is all-uppercase Transport.

Brunei

Main article: Road signs in Brunei

Cambodia

Main article: Road signs in Cambodia

In Cambodia, road signs are prescribed by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, of Cambodia.[6] Cambodian road signage practice closely follows those used in Europe, with the exception of warning signs which follow the American MUTCD, matching the designs used in neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Road signs in Cambodia use Helvetica for English language text.

China

Main article: Road signs in China

A variety of road signs are used in mainland China, specified in the Guobiao standard GB 5678–2009. Most road signs in China, like warning signs, appear to adopt the practices of the ISO standards not intended for use in traffic signage, which are ISO 3864 and ISO 7010.

Direction signs have these colours:

Road signs in China use FHWA Series E and Helvetica for English language text.

Hong Kong

Main article: Road signs in Hong Kong

Road signs in Hong Kong
A street sign in Central, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's traffic signs follow the British road sign conventions and are bilingual in English and Chinese (English on top, and traditional Chinese characters at the bottom). The English text is written in Transport; the Chinese text was originally hand-crafted by prisoners and was digitalized with the name "Prison Gothic".

Macau

Main article: Road signs in Macau

Road signs in Macau are inherited from pre-1994/1998 reform Portuguese road signages. Inscriptions on Road signs are written in Chinese and Portuguese. The Portuguese text is written in DIN 1451.

Taiwan

Road signs in Taiwan are reminiscent of the early 1940s Japanese road signage, which was used in Japan itself until 1950,[7] this means that Taiwan is lenient towards European road signs in terms of road sign design, but with some influences from road signs used in Japan and China.

Road signs in Taiwan use FHWA Series E and Arial for English language text.

Georgia

Main article: Road signs in Georgia (country)

Road signs in Georgia are mostly inherited from road signs used in neighboring post-Soviet states such as Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, but with some modifications in design. Inscriptions on road signs are usually written in Georgian and English, the font used being GOST 10807-78.

India

Main article: Road signs in India

Road signs in the Republic of India are similar to those used in some parts of the United Kingdom, except that they are multilingual. Most urban roads and state highways have signs in the state language and English. National highways have signs in the state language and English.

Indonesia

Main article: Road signs in Indonesia

The font used is Highway Gothic.

Warning signs for a camel are common in the Arabian Peninsula region.

Iran

Main article: Road signs in Iran

Road signs in Iran mainly follow the Vienna Convention. Signs are in Persian and English.

Israel

Main article: Road signs in Israel

Road signs in Israel mainly follow the Vienna Convention, but have some variants. The Latin letters text is written in Transport.

Japan

Main article: Road signs in Japan

Japanese stop sign with the word Tomare (止まれ), meaning Stop

Road signs in Japan are either controlled by local police authorities under Road Traffic Law (道路交通法, Dōro Kōtsūhō) or by other road-controlling entities including Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, local municipalities, NEXCO (companies controlling expressways), under Road Law (道路法, Dōrohō). Most of the design of the road signs in Japan are similar to the signs on the Vienna Convention, except for some significant variances, such as stop sign with a red downward triangle. The main signs are categorized into four meaning types:

The font used is named Hiragino Kaku Gothic.

Kazakhstan

Main article: Road signs in Kazakhstan

Road signs in Kazakhstan are similar in design to road signs used in neighboring Russia, as well as in most post-Soviet states. Inscriptions on road signs, including the names of settlements and streets, are usually written in two languages: Kazakh and Russian, the font used being GOST 10807-78.

Korea

Main article: Road signs in South Korea

A typical South Korean road sign for a double curve

Both North Korea and South Korea developed their own road signage systems.

Road signs in South Korea are standardised and regulated by the Korean Road Traffic Authority. South Korean road signage closely follows those used in Europe, but with some influences from road signs in Japan. Similar to road signs of Poland and Greece, road signs are triangular, have a yellow background and a red border. Like other countries, the signs use pictograms to display their meaning. The font used is a typeface called Panno for the Latin letters and Hangil for the Korean letters.

Road signs in North Korea differ by locale. Most of the time, they tend to closely follow China in design (but identically), and some road signs are unique to North Korea (such as an exclamation mark drawn on another sign to indicate other dangers), so they never appear elsewhere. The font used for Latin letters appear to be the same as in China.

South Korea keeps close to the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals as South Korea is an original signatory. On the other hand, North Korea is not a signatory to the convention and instead designs its own signs, creating confusion.[8]

Kyrgyzstan

Main article: Road signs in Kyrgyzstan

Road signs in Kyrgyzstan maintain the same design as those used in Russia, the font used being GOST 10807-78.

Laos

Main article: Road signs in Laos

Malaysia

Main article: Road signs in Malaysia

The font used is Transport.

Mongolia

Main article: Road signs in Mongolia

Road signs in Mongolia mostly follow those used in Russia. The font used, however, is Arial.

Nepal

Main article: Road signs in Nepal

Pakistan

Main article: Road signs in Pakistan

The font used for the Urdu text is Noto Nastaliq.

Philippines

Main article: Road signs in the Philippines

Philippines winding road ahead sign
Route marker sign for Asian Highway 26, as seen on EDSA and the Maharlika Highway.

Road signs in the Philippines are standardized in the Road Signs and Pavement Markings Manual, published by the Department of Public Works and Highways. Philippine road signage practice closely follow those used in Europe, but with local adaptations and some minor influences from the US MUTCD and Australian road signs. However, some road signs may differ by locale, and mostly diverge from the national standard. For example, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has used pink and light blue in its signage for which it has been heavily criticised.[9][10]

Road signs in the Philippines are classified as:

Regulatory road signs – other than the stop and give way signs – are generally circular, with (for prohibitions) a black symbol on a white background within a red border, or (for mandatory instructions) a white symbol on a blue background. In some cases circular regulatory signs are placed on white rectangular panels together with text supplementing their meanings.

Most warning signs display a black symbol on a white background within a red-bordered equilateral triangle. Since 2012, however, a more visibly distinctive design (taken from that used for school signs in the US) has been adopted for pedestrian-related signs: these consist of a fluorescent yellow-green pentagon with black border and symbol. Additional panels may be placed below signs to supplement their meanings.

Guide signs are divided into directional signs, service area signs, route markers, and tourist-related signs, with influence from both American and Australian practice. Directional signs use a green background with white letters and arrows. Service area signs use a blue background with white letters, arrows, and symbols. Tourist-related signs use a brown background with white letters, arrows, and symbols. The route marker sign, excluding the AH26 route marker, is based on the Australian National Route marker, but reserved for future use.

Signs on expressways mostly take elements from Australian motorway/freeway signs. Exit signs, wrong way signs and start/end of expressway signs are very similar to Australian freeway signage. Traffic instruction signs are textual signs used to supplement warning and regulatory signs.

The font used is Highway Gothic.

Russia

Main article: Road signs in Russia

Road signs in the Asian part of Russia follow the Vienna Convention, specified in the GOST standard 52290-2004[11] (the Soviet Union was an original signatory to the convention, but only a few Post-Soviet states are signatories to the convention). However, direction signs in the Asian part of Russia omit European route numbers, replaced by Asian route numbers, which are dark blue in background with white lettering, with a few exceptions. The same also apples to road signs used in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The font used is GOST 10807-78.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi road sign

Main article: Road signs in Saudi Arabia

Road signs in Saudi Arabia frequently show their text both in Arabic and English. Road signs also indicate which part of the road is for Muslims, and which part is for non-Muslims, for instance near Mecca.[12] The font used for the English text is Highway Gothic.

Singapore

Main article: Road signs in Singapore

Singapore's traffic signs closely follow British road sign conventions, although the government has introduced some changes to them. The font used is Highway Gothic.

Sri Lanka

Main article: Road signs in Sri Lanka

Road signs in Sri Lanka are standardized road signs and closely follow those used in Europe with certain distinctions. A number of changes have introduced road signs that suit local roads and systems. Sri Lankan government announced by a gazette that aimed to give signage a face-lift and introduce over 100 new road traffic signs. The English text is written in all-uppercase Transport.

Tajikistan

Main article: Road signs in Tajikistan

The font used is GOST 10807-78.

Thailand

Main article: Road signs in Thailand

Road signs in Yasothon Province, TH

Road signs in Thailand are standardised and are uniform throughout the country. Since the late twentieth century, Thai road signage practice closely follows the designs used in the United States, Europe and Japan. Road signs are often written in Thai language and display in metric units. In tourist areas, English is also used for important public places such as tourist attractions, airports, railway stations, and immigration checkpoints. Destinations on direction signage is written are written in both Thai and English.

Road signs in Thailand are classified as:

Turkey

Main article: Road signs in Turkey

The font used is Highway Gothic.

Turkmenistan

Main article: Road signs in Turkmenistan

Road signs in Turkmenistan are mostly based on those used in the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991. However, modern road signs in Turkmenistan are similar to those used in Turkey. The font used is GOST 10807-78.

United Arab Emirates

Main article: Road signs in United Arab Emirates

The English text is written in Transport.

Uzbekistan

Main article: Road signs in Uzbekistan

Vietnam

Main article: Road signs in Vietnam

Road signs in Vietnam are standardized road signs closely follow those used in China with certain distinctions. They are written in Vietnamese.

Yemen

Road signs in Yemen are standardized road signs and closely follow those used in Portugal with certain distinctions. They are written in Arabic and English, the latter using Arial as typeface.

Europe

The first road signs established in Czechoslovakia on 1 November 1935: six blue-white danger warning signs. They were later supplanted with red-white-black signs.
Road signs in Pirkkala, Finland guiding a motorist to the motorway leading to Vaasa, Helsinki and Tampere.
Keep right, Portugal.
Road sign in Beussent, France – entrance to built up area with an implied 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph) speed limit.

The standardization of traffic signs in Europe commenced with the signing of the 1931 Geneva Convention concerning the Unification of Road Signals by several countries.[13] The 1931 Convention rules were developed in the 1949 Geneva Protocol on Road Signs and Signals[14] and a European Agreement supplementing the 1949 Protocol.[15]

In 1968, the European countries signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic treaty, with the aim of standardizing traffic regulations in participating countries to facilitate international road traffic and to increase road safety. Part of the treaty was the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, which defined the traffic signs and signals. As a result, in Western Europe the traffic signs are well standardized, although there are still some country-specific exceptions, mostly dating from the pre-1968 era.

The principle of the European traffic sign standard is that certain shapes and colours are to be used with consistent meanings:

Directional signs ("guide signs" in American parlance) have not been harmonized under the convention, at least not on ordinary roads. As a result, there are substantial differences in directional signage throughout Europe. Differences apply to the choice of typeface, arrows and, most notably, colours. The convention does, however, specify that the type of directional signage used should, for each country, distinguish limited-access roads ("motorways") from ordinary, all-purpose roads.

Directional signage on motorways uses:

Differences are greater for non-motorways:

The black-on-white signposting of secondary roads distinguishes them from primary roads in Andorra, Finland, France, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Sweden black-on-white indicates urban-only roads or urban destinations.

The signposting of road numbers also differs greatly, except that European route numbers, if displayed, are always indicated using white characters on a green rectangle. European route numbers are, however, not signed at all in the United Kingdom, Albania, Iceland and Andorra.

The Convention recommends that certain signs – such as "STOP", "ZONE", etc. – be in English; however, use of the local language is also permitted. If a language uses non-Latin characters, a Latin-script transliteration of the names of cities and other important places should also be given. Road signs in the Republic of Ireland are bilingual, using Irish and English. Wales similarly uses bilingual Welsh–English signs, while some parts of Scotland have bilingual Scottish Gaelic–English signs. Finland also uses bilingual signs, in Finnish and Swedish. Signs in Belgium are in French, Dutch, or German depending on the region. In the Brussels Capital Region, road signs are in both French and Dutch. Signs in Switzerland are in French, German, Italian, or Romansh depending on the canton.

European countries – with the notable exception of the United Kingdom, where distances and lengths are indicated in miles, yards, feet, and inches, and speed limits are expressed in miles per hour – use the metric system on road signs.

For countries driving on the left, the convention stipulates that the traffic signs should be mirror images of those used in countries driving on the right. This practice, however, is not systematically followed in the four European countries driving on the left; United Kingdom, Cyprus, Malta and the Republic of Ireland. The convention permits the use of two background colours for danger and prohibition signs: white or yellow. Most countries use white, with a few – such as Finland, Iceland, Poland, and Sweden – opting for yellow as this tends to improve the winter-time visibility of signs in areas where snow is prevalent. In some countries, such as France or Italy, white is the normal background colour for such signs, but yellow is used for temporary signage (as, for example, at road works).

European traffic signs have been designed with the principles of heraldry in mind;[citation needed] i.e., the sign must be clear and able to be resolved at a glance. Most traffic signs conform to heraldic tincture rules, and use symbols rather than written texts for better semiotic clarity.

Albania

Albanian road signs are similar to Italian road signs, hence both follow the same convention on road sign design set out by the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The font used is a variation of Transport.

Andorra

Road signs in Andorra are similar to those set out in the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. Its direction signage is always white.[17]

Unlike other European countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, all routes in Andorra are not numbered. This can cause problems for drivers from neighbouring European countries when trying to find an international destination.

Austria

Main article: Road signs in Austria

The font used is Tern.

Belarus

Main article: Road signs in Belarus

Road signs in Belarus are visually not much different from road signs used in neighboring post-Soviet countries like Russia and Ukraine. Inscriptions on road signs, including names of settlements, are written in Belarusian or Russian, most often in Belarusian and using GOST 10807-78.

Belgium

Main article: Road signs in Belgium

The font used is SNV.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Main article: Road signs in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The font used is SNV.

Croatia

Main article: Road signs in Croatia

Croatian road signs follow the Vienna convention (SFR Yugoslavia was the original signatory for Croatia, which is now a contracting party itself). The most common signs are:

In the first years following Croatia's independence, its traffic signs were the same as in the rest of the former Yugoslavia. In the early 2000s, replacement of the yellow background of warning signs began, and new signs now use a white background.

The signage typeface is SNV, as with the other countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Czech Republic

Main article: Road signs in Czechia

The font used is all-uppercase DIN 1451.

Denmark

Main article: Road signs in Denmark

The font used is a variation of Transport.

Estonia

Main article: Road signs in Estonia

The font used is Arial.

Finland

Main article: Road signs in Finland

The font used is called Tie.

France

Main article: Road signs in France

The font used is called Caractères; it is written in all-uppercase when referencing municipalities, in italics when referring to buildings.

Germany

Main article: Road signs in Germany

The font used is DIN 1451.

Greece

Main article: Road signs in Greece

The font used is Transport.

Hungary

Main article: Road signs in Hungary

The font used is similar to DIN 1451.

Iceland

Main article: Road signs in Iceland

Iceland is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, but they do follow the Vienna Convention guidelines, however, they use a variant of the colour scheme and minor design changes similar to the signs in Sweden. The font used is Transport.

Ireland

Advance directional sign in for a roundabout in Ireland. The green background indicates that this sign is on a national road, with the blue patches left and right indicating a motorway (with symbol) and the white patches indicating a regional road or local road.
Irish warning sign

Main article: Road signs in Ireland

Until the partition of Ireland in 1922 and the independence of the Irish Free State (now the Republic of Ireland), British standards applied across the island. In 1926 road sign standards similar to those used in the UK at the time were adopted.[18] Law requires that the signs be written in both Irish and English.

In 1956, warning road signs in the Republic were changed from the UK standard with the adoption of US-style "diamond" signs for many road hazard warnings.[19] A number of regulatory signs were also introduced.

Directional signage is similar to current United Kingdom standards, in that the same colours and typefaces are used. However, Irish text is rendered in a unique oblique variant of the Transport typeface.

In line with the majority of Europe, Ireland uses the metric system, which has been displayed on directional signs based on the Worboys Committee standard since 1977 and, upon adopting metric speed limits, on speed limit signs since 2005.

Italy

Main article: Road signs in Italy

The font used is a variation of Transport.

Latvia

Main article: Road signs in Latvia

Road signs in Latvia largely adhere to Vienna Convention guidelines. In detailed design they closely resemble the signs used in Germany. The font used is DIN 1451.

Liechtenstein

Main article: Road signs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

The font used is Frutiger.

Lithuania

Main article: Road signs in Lithuania

Like most post-Soviet states, Lithuania uses the road signs similar to those used in the Soviet Union since Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union. Neighboring Latvia and Estonia already have their own road sign standards, which outwardly differ from Russian ones. The font used is GOST 10807-78.

Malta

Main article: Road signs in Malta

The font used is Transport.

Moldova

Road signs in Moldova are in some ways similar in design to those used in the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991. However, modern road signs in Moldova tend to follow those used in Romania and used Arial Bold typeface.

Montenegro

Main article: Road signs in Montenegro

The font used is SNV.

Netherlands

Main article: Road signs in the Netherlands

Road signs in the Netherlands follow the Vienna Convention. Directional signs (which have not been harmonized under the convention) always use blue as the background colour. The destinations on the sign are printed in white. If the destination is not a town (but an area within town or some other kind of attraction), that destination will be printed in black on a separate white background within the otherwise blue sign.

The Netherlands always signposts European road numbers where applicable (i.e., on the advance directional signs, the interchange direction signs and on the hectometer signs). Dutch national road numbers are placed on a rectangle, with motorways being signposted in white on a red rectangle (as Axx) and primary roads in black on a yellow rectangle (as Nxx).

Information intended for bike-riders always go on white signs with red or green letters.

The Dutch RWS (formerly ANWB) typeface is based on the US FHWA typeface. A new font, named ANWB-Uu (also known as Redesign), was developed in 1997 and appeared on many signs but has been discontinued since 2015. The language of the signs is typically Dutch, even though bilingual signs may be used, when the information is relevant for tourists.

Norway

Main article: Road signs in Norway

Upper left and right and middle right are standard directional signs. Lower left is for a commercial facility, and lower right is for a temporary detour.

Signs in Norway mostly follow the Vienna Convention, except the polar bear warning sign, which is a white bear on a black background and a red border. These are the directional signs:

The signs for road numbering are rectangular, and have this colour scheme:

The font used is called Traffikalfabetet and is derived from DIN 1451.

Poland

Main article: Road signs in Poland

The road signs in Poland follow the Vienna convention. Poland chose yellow as the background colour for warning signs (an alternative allowed under the convention), rather than the much more widely adopted white. The typeface used on Polish road signs is a bespoke one, created in 1975, replaced the former signage typeface that resembles NT Cornelia typeface[20] and specified by the Regulations of 3 July 2003, as amended.[21][22] There are two fonts available for download, both being digitalisations of the original specification: one is Tablica Drogowa (freeware for non-commercial use, paid licence required otherwise),[23] another is Drogowskaz (freeware for non-commercial use, see licence text for conditions of other use).[24]

Romania

Main article: Road signs in Romania

The font used is SNV.

Russia

Main article: Road signs in Russia

Road signs in Russia follow the Vienna Convention, specified in the GOST standard 52290-2004[11] (the Soviet Union was an original signatory to the convention, but only a few Post-Soviet states are signatories to the convention). The font used is, as such, GOST 10807-78.

European route numbers are signposted on direction signs in the European part of Russia and thus have the green background with white lettering.

In February 2019, the traffic police has supported proposals for the introduction of reduced road signs, the idea was initiated by the Moscow government. They are planned to be installed throughout Russia after a successful experiment. The allowable size of signs will be reduced to 40 cm (16 inches) in diameter, and in some cases to 35 cm (14 inches), which is almost half the current standard of 60 cm (24 inches).[25]

Serbia

Main article: Road signs in Serbia

The font used is SNV.

Spain

Main article: Road signs in Spain

The font used is a variation of Transport.

Sweden

Swedish elk warning sign

Main article: Road signs in Sweden

The road signs in Sweden mostly follow the Vienna Convention with a few adaptations, however, allowed within the convention:

The signage typeface Tratex is used exclusively in Sweden and is available as freeware. Cities are written in all-uppercase.[26]

Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Swiss signpost in table format

Main article: Road signs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Even though Switzerland is not a member of the EU, the road signs mostly follow the Vienna Convention with a few adaptations and exceptions. Road signs are categorized as follows:

Distances and other measurements are displayed in metric units. Starting 2003, ASTRA-Frutiger is the typeface used to replace SNV, which is still used in several European countries.[27]

Major exceptions from the norm are:

Swiss sign no. 4.05 Mountain postal road

The font used is Frutiger.

Ukraine

Main article: Road signs in Ukraine

Road signs in Ukraine broadly conform to European norms, and they are based on the road signage systems used consistently throughout the former USSR but using a font called Road UA.

United Kingdom

One of the more unusual UK road signs, at the Magic Roundabout in Swindon
Bilingual road sign in Wales

Main article: Road signs in the United Kingdom

Traffic signing in the UK conforms broadly to European norms, though a number of signs are unique to Britain and direction signs omit European route numbers. The current sign system, introduced on 1 January 1965, was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s by the Anderson Committee, which established the motorway signing system, and by the Worboys Committee, which reformed signing for existing all-purpose roads.

The UK remains the only Commonwealth country to use imperial measurements for distance and speed, although "authorised weight" signs have been in metric tonnes since 1981 and there is currently a dual-unit (metric first) option for height and width restriction signage, intended for use on safety grounds. Additionally, kilometre signs are installed at intervals of 500 metres (1,600 ft) indicating the distance from the start of the motorway.

Three colour schemes exist for direction signs:

Two typefaces are specified for British road signs. Transport is used for all text on fixed permanent signs and temporary signage; dark text on a light background is set in "Heavy" so that it stands out better. However route numbers on motorway signs use a taller limited character set typeface called Motorway.

Signs are generally bilingual in all parts of Wales (English/Welsh or Welsh/English), and similar signs are beginning to be seen in parts of the Scottish Highlands (Scottish Gaelic/English).

All signs and their associated regulations can be found in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions,[28] and are complemented by the various chapters of the Traffic Signs Manual.

Gaelic-speaking Scotland

Main article: Gaelic road signs in Scotland

Wales

Main article: Road signs in Wales

North America and Oceania

Handicap sign
One of Catskill Park's distinctive brown town signs with yellow text, showing the hamlet of Pine Hill

In North America (including Mexico) these colours normally have these meanings. These are standard but exceptions may exist, especially outside the US:

The US Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices prescribes four other colours: [30]

Regulatory signs are also sometimes seen with white letters on red or black signs. In Quebec, blue is often used for public services such as rest areas; many black-on-yellow signs are red-on-white instead.

Many US states and Canadian provinces now use fluorescent orange for construction signs.[32]

Rural highway sign, Saskatchewan.

Highway symbols and markers

Every state in the U.S. and province in Canada has different markers for its own highways, but uses standard ones for all federal highways. Many special highways – such as the Queen Elizabeth Way, Trans-Canada Highway, and various auto trails in the U.S. – have used unique signs. Counties in the US sometimes use a pentagonal blue sign with yellow letters for numbered county roads, though the use is inconsistent even within states.

In Australia, the five states have alphanumeric markers for their own highways, based on the Great Britain road numbering scheme of 1963. Tasmania was the first state to implement this scheme in 1979.[33] "M" roads signified motorways, "A" roads signified primary highways, "B" roads signified less significant roads and "C" roads linked smaller settlements. Western Australia never implemented the alphanumeric scheme, instead retaining the shield system.[34]

Units

Distances in traffic signs generally follow the measurement system in use locally: that is to say, the metric system in all countries of the world except Burma, Liberia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – although in the UK, all distances shown on road signs in TSRGD 2002 by the Department for Transport must be in yards, miles or fractions of a mile but metric units are used on width and height clearances,[35] and in the US, the MUTCD 2000[36] and 2003[37] editions developed by the Federal Highway Administration contain (but rarely used) metric versions of the signs, although some of the metric editions of the signs do get used outside of the US.

Languages

Multilingual road signs in Mistissini, Quebec in Cree, English, and French.

Where signs use a language, the recognized language/s of the area is normally used. Signs in most of the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are in English. Quebec uses French. In contrast, the New Brunswick, Jacques-Cartier, and Champlain bridges, in Montreal (as well as some parts in the West Island), use both English and French, and a number of other provinces and states, such as Ontario, Manitoba, and Vermont use bilingual French–English signs in certain localities. Mexico uses Spanish. Within a few miles of the US–Mexico border, road signs are often in English and Spanish in places like San Diego, Yuma, and El Paso. Indigenous languages, mainly Nahuatl as well as some Mayan languages, have been used as well.

In both Canada and Mexico, pictorial signs are common compared to the US, where many signs are simply written in English.

Typefaces

The typefaces predominantly used on signs in the US and Canada are the FHWA alphabet series (Series B through Series F and Series E Modified). Details of letter shape and spacing for these alphabet series are given in "Standard Alphabets for Traffic Control Devices", first published by the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) in 1945 and subsequently updated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). It is now part of Standard Highway Signs (SHS), the companion volume to the MUTCD which gives full design details for signfaces.

Initially, all the alphabet series consisted of uppercase letters and digits only, although lowercase extensions were provided for each alphabet series in a 2002 revision of SHS. Series B through Series F evolved from identically named alphabet series which were introduced in 1927.

Straight-stroke letters in the 1927 series were substantially similar to their modern equivalents, but unrounded glyphs were used for letters such as B, C, D, etc., to permit more uniform fabrication of signs by illiterate painters. Various state highway departments and the federal BPR experimented with rounded versions of these letters in the following two decades.

The modern, rounded alphabet series was finally standardized in 1945 after rounded versions of some letters (with widths loosely appropriate for Series C or D) were specified as an option in the 1935 MUTCD and draft versions of the new typefaces had been used in 1942 for guide signs on the newly constructed Pentagon road network.

The mixed-case alphabet now called Series E Modified, which is the standard for destination legend on freeway guide signs, originally existed in two parts: an all-uppercase Series E Modified, which was essentially similar to Series E, except for a larger stroke width, and a lowercase-only alphabet. Both parts were developed by the California Division of Highways (now Caltrans) for use on freeways in 1948–1950.

Initially, the Division used all-uppercase Series E Modified for button-reflectorized letters on ground-mounted signs and mixed-case legend (lowercase letters with Series D capitals) for externally illuminated overhead guide signs. Several Eastern turnpike authorities blended all-uppercase Series E Modified with the lowercase alphabet for destination legends on their guide signs.

Eventually, this combination was accepted for destination legend in the first manual for signing Interstate highways, which was published in 1958 by the American Association of State Highway Officials and adopted as the national standard by the BPR.

Uses of non-FHWA typefaces

Some traffic signs, such as the left-turn prohibition sign hanging from this gantry, are lit for better visibility, particularly at night or in inclement weather.

The US National Park Service uses NPS Rawlinson Roadway, a serif typeface, for guide signage; it typically appears on a brown background. Rawlinson has replaced Clarendon as the official NPS typeface, but some states still use Clarendon for recreational signage.

Georgia, in the past, used uppercase Series D with a custom lowercase alphabet on its freeway guide signs; the most distinctive feature of this typeface is the lack of a dot on lowercase i and lowercase j. This was discontinued in 2012.[38] More recent installations appear to include dots.[39]

The Clearview typeface, developed by US researchers to provide improved legibility, is permitted for light legend on dark backgrounds under FHWA interim approval. Clearview has seen widespread use by state departments of transportation in Arkansas, Arizona,[40] Illinois,[41] Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. The Kansas Turnpike Authority has also introduced Clearview typeface to some of its newer guide signs along the Kansas Turnpike, but the state of Kansas continues to use the FHWA typefaces for signage on its non-tolled Interstates and freeways.

In Canada, the Ministry of Transportation for the Province of British Columbia specifies Clearview for use on its highway guide signs,[42] and its usage has shown up in Ontario on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway in Toronto and on new 400-series highway installations in Hamilton, Halton and Niagara, as well as street signs in various parts of the province. The font is also being used on newer signs in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.

A new Clearview typeface sign beside an old FHWA typeface, Quebec
Moose crossing warning with kill-counter, Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.

It is common for local governments, airport authorities, and contractors to fabricate traffic signs using typefaces other than the FHWA series; Helvetica, Futura and Arial are common choices.

Australia

Main article: Road signs in Australia

For road signs in Australia, this is covered by AS 1742 which is unofficially known as Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Australia, and it serves as a similar role to the FHWA MUTCD.[43] As a result, road signs in Australia closely follow those used in America, but some sign designs closely follow the ones used in the United Kingdom.

The typeface used for Australian road signs is the AS 1744 font which is based on Highway Gothic.

Canada

Main article: Road signs in Canada

For road signs in Canada, the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) publishes its own Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada for use by Canadian jurisdictions.[44] Although it serves a similar role to the FHWA MUTCD, it has been independently developed and has a number of key differences with its US counterpart, most notably the inclusion of bilingual (English/French) signage for jurisdictions such as New Brunswick and Ontario with significant anglophone and francophone population, a heavier reliance on symbols rather than text legends and metric measurements instead of imperial.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) also has historically used its own MUTCD which bore many similarities to the TAC MUTCDC. However, as of approximately 2000, MTO has been developing the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM), a series of smaller volumes each covering different aspects of traffic control (e.g., regulatory signs, warning signs, sign design principles, traffic signals, etc.).

Central America

For road signs in Central American countries, the Central American Integration System (SICA) publishes its own Manual Centroamericano de Dispositivos Uniformes para el Control del Transito, a Central American equivalent to the US MUTCD.

Mexico

Main article: Road signs in Mexico

Road signs in Mexico are influenced by road signs in America, and are published under Manual de Dispositivos para el Control del Tránsito en Calles y Carreteras. It serves as a similar role to the FHWA MUTCD, but is independently developed and has a number of key differences with the US counterpart, and the language used is Mexican Spanish. Like Canada but unlike America, Mexico had a heavier reliance on symbols than text legends, and metric measurements instead of imperial.[45]

New Zealand

Main article: Road signs in New Zealand

New Zealand road signs are generally influenced both by American and European practices.

Warning signs are diamond-shaped with a yellow background for permanent warnings, and an orange background for temporary warnings. They are somewhat more pictorial than their American counterparts. This is also true for Canadian and Mexican signage.

Regulatory signs also follow European practice, with a white circle with a red border indicating prohibitive actions, and a blue circle indicating mandatory actions. White rectangular signs with a red border indicate lane usage directions. Information and direction signs are rectangular, with a green background indicating a state highway, a blue background for all other roads and all services (except in some, where directional signage is white), and a brown background for tourist attractions.

Before 1987, most road signs had black backgrounds – diamonds indicated warnings, and rectangles indicated regulatory actions (with the exception of the Give Way sign (an inverted trapezium), and Stop sign and speed limit signs (which were the same as today)). Information signs were yellow, and direction signage was green on motorways and black everywhere else.

Papua New Guinea

Road signs in Papua New Guinea are standardised and closely follow those used in Australia with certain distinctions. They are written in English.[46]

United States

Further information: Road signs in the United States

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (usually referred to as the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, abbreviated MUTCD) is a document issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to specify the standards by which traffic signs, road surface markings, and signals are designed, installed, and used. In the United States, all traffic control devices must legally conform to these standards. The manual is used by state and local agencies as well as private construction firms to ensure that the traffic control devices they use conform to the national standard. While some state agencies have developed their own sets of standards, including their own MUTCDs, these must substantially conform to the federal MUTCD.[47]

The MUTCD defines the content and placement of traffic signs, while design specifications are detailed in a companion volume, Standard Highway Signs. This manual defines the specific dimensions, colors, and fonts of each sign and road marking. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) advises the FHWA on additions, revisions, and changes to the MUTCD.[47]

The United States is among the countries that have not ratified the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. The first edition of the MUTCD was published in 1935, 33 years before the Vienna Convention was signed in 1968. The MUTCD differs significantly from the European-influenced Vienna Convention, and an attempt to adopt several of the Vienna Convention's standards during the 1970s led to confusion among many US drivers.[47]

Puerto Rico

Main article: Road signs in Puerto Rico

Latin America and the Caribbean

Speed bump sign in Belize.

Road signs in Caribbean and Latin America vary from country to country. For the most part, conventions in signage tend to resemble United States signage conventions more so than European and Asian conventions. For example, warning signs are typically diamond-shaped and yellow rather than triangular and white. Some variations include the "Parking" and "No Parking" signs, which contain either a letter E or P, depending on which word is used locally for "Parking" (Spanish estacionamiento or parqueo, Portuguese estacionamento), as well as the Stop sign, which usually reads "Pare" or "Alto". Notable exceptions include speed limit signs, which follow the European conventions, and the "No Entry" sign, often replaced with a crossed upwards arrow.

Of all the countries in South America, only 4 countries Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela have signed the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. Chile is also the only country in South America to have ratified this convention.

Argentina

Main article: Road signs in Argentina

Brazil

Main article: Road signs in Brazil

Chile

Main article: Road signs in Chile

Colombia

Main article: Road signs in Colombia

Traffic signs in Colombia are classified into three categories:

Warning signs are very similar to warning signs in United States. They are yellow diamond-shaped with a black symbol (the yellow colour is changed to an orange colour in areas under construction). In certain cases, the yellow colour is shifted to fluorescent yellow (in the School area sign and Chevron sign).

Mandatory signs are similar to European signs. They are circular with a red border, a white background and a black symbol. Stop sign and Yield sign are as European, except the word "Stop" is changed for "Pare" and the Yield sign has no letters; it is a red triangle with white centre.

Information signs have many shapes and colours. Principally they are blue with white symbols and in many cases these signs have an information letter below the symbol.

Cuba

Stop sign used in Cuba

Main article: Road signs in Cuba

Road signs in Cuba are very similar to those used in European countries and generally conform to the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. On September 30, 1977, Cuba acceded to the Convention. Cuba still uses a circular STOP sign, with a triangle inside, which was used in the past in several European countries.

Haiti

Road signs in Haiti are standardized road signs closely following those used in France with certain distinctions.[citation needed] They are written in French and Haitian Creole.

Suriname

Road signs in Suriname are particularly modelled on the Dutch road signs since Suriname is a former Dutch colony, although traffic drives on the left.

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