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How to Understand Road Signs: Shapes, Colors, and Pictures


How to Understand Road Signs: Shapes, Colors, and Pictures

We know it’s hard to remember all those road signs and markings. But it’s important to know your road traffic signs! Road traffic signs are an essential part of driving. Understanding the different shapes, colors, and pictures helps you make safe decisions.

Today, we will cover what every driver needs to know about road traffic signs and how to quickly decipher them. So let’s jump straight into it!

Road Sign Shapes

There are four main shapes of road signs. Each shape corresponds to a different meaning.

  1. Circular: circular road traffic signs usually indicate a prohibition or mandatory action to be carried out soon. They can also show direction and distance, warn you about dangers on your route, or instruct you how to get from one place to another – like if it’s an exit sign.
  2. Rectangular: rectangular road traffic signs are used to indicate the various types of information that a driver may need on their journeys, such as speed limits or parking restrictions.
  3. Triangle shaped: triangle-shaped road traffic signs usually show warnings about hazards nearby. They can also warn you against things like dangers alongside your route, the need to be careful of children, or what you should do in an emergency.
  4. Roundabout: roundabout road traffic signs are circular and show how many lanes there are on a particular route. They also indicate if vehicles must travel around it anticlockwise or clockwise.


Road Signs can come in three different colors: red, yellow, and blue.

  1. Red: Red Road traffic signs usually mean that you must stop at the sign – or risk a fine!
  2. Yellow: this color is typically used for warning signs about dangers ahead on your route.
  3. Blue: Blue Road traffic signs are often found alongside speed limits to indicate how fast you’re allowed to travel in different areas.

Road Sign Pictures


Pictures on road traffic signs can be used to indicate a prohibition, allow you to know what is expected of your actions soon, or warn you of potential dangers.


  • A picture with an X through it means that something is not allowed – like parking where there are no spaces available.
  • If a road sign has a picture of an exhaust pipe, it is indicating that the road ahead might have poor quality air.
  • A pedestrian crossing with a zebra on it means there are pedestrians ahead of you – be careful when you’re driving!

Now that we know what each shape and color mean. Let’s put them all together.

Putting It Together

It’s that simple! You have a color, shape, and symbol which combine to tell you what the sign is about. Put everything together to work out what it means.


  1. A red sign (warning), circular in shape (orders) with the number 80 (speed) = Do not exceed 80 km/h.
  2. A red triangle (double warning) with a picture of a camel = Warning: camel may cross the road.
  3. A rectangular sign (information) blue in color (instructions) with a symbol of a bicycle = Recommended route for cyclists.


You now know what the different shapes of road signs mean. You also know their colors and pictures. Putting it all together, you will be able to identify each sign with ease! Not only that but we hope this blog post has helped you realize how interesting these things can really be. Do you have a favorite road sign in particular? Or can’t decipher a specific road sign? Share it with us in the comments below!














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