The 8 most misunderstood road signs

A mix of different UK road signs

Do you know what all these road signs mean?

Understanding road signs is a vital part of keeping safe on the road. Thats why it’s important to get to know some of the more uncommon signs even if you don’t see them very often. 

How many of the eight most misunderstood signs do you know? 

1. Clearway 

This is one of the more common signs you’ll see on the road but not many people are aware of its meaning. 

It tells drivers the road is a ‘clearway’, which means no stopping is permitted at all. This also includes picking up and dropping off passengers. This sign is often found outside and around schools and catches quite a lot of people out. 

2. Slow moving military vehicles 

This sign is fairly self-explanatory. Normally seen on roads around active military bases, this sign is a white triangle outlined in red with a black tank in the middle. It indicates that there are slow moving military vehicles that could be crossing or driving on the road. 

Tanks can weigh up to 70 tonnes and have a top speed of approximately 40mph, Driving behind one is like being stuck behind farming vehicles, only much more interesting. 

3. Controlled parking zone ends 

This sign probably won’t make any sense if you missed an earlier parking sign. 

‘Zone ENDS’ signs indicate that previous local parking restrictions have ended, meaning parking will most likely be free beyond the sign; it’s always best to double check though. 

4. All vehicles restricted 

As a plain white circle with a red border, this road sign might seem incomplete, but it looks that way for a reason.  

This sign means all vehicles are restricted from using the road ahead. So, if you see this sign, it’s definitely time to turn around, unless you feel like getting a ticket. 

5. No explosives  

Don’t worry, this sign doesn’t mean your car is suddenly at risk of exploding as soon as you enter the area. 

This sign simply means that vehicles carrying explosives are restricted from going any further.  

6. No waiting 

Similar to the clearway sign, this sign is a blue circle with only a singular diagonal red line.  

This indicates there is no waiting in the area. So, if you’re picking someone up or dropping them off, make sure you don’t linger for too long.  

7. Animals crossing 

If you spend at lot of time driving in the countryside, you’ll be familiar with animals crossing signs. 

The main ones you’ll see are for deer, birds, livestock and toads. It’s advised you slow down when you see these signs as, with the exception of livestock, the animals will cross whenever they like, so you never know when they can appear in the road. 

8. Overhead electricals 

This sign mostly appears near trainlines and tunnels, and warns of overhead electric cables. It’s often paired with a safe height sign, letting you know the maximum height a vehicle should be to pass under the cables.  

This sign can also be found near construction sites that use live overhead wires to power big machines.

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