Traffic Signs Manual - Chapter 1 - Introduction

  • Published: Department for Transport, Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland), Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government, 1982 (updated 2004)
  • Authors: Department for Transport, Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland), Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government
  • Date Added: 07 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 12 Feb 2016
  • Format: pdf

Objectives:

This manual sets out the codes to be followed in the use, siting, and illumination of signs both on all-purpose roads and motorways. It also covers temporary signs for use in connection with roadworks, in emergency by the Police, and temporary route signing by motoring organisations and highway authorities.

Methodology:

Collation of UK legislation, policy and guidance on the use of signs on all-purpose roads and motorways.

Key Findings:

  • Clear and efficient signing is an essential part of highway and traffic engineering. Road users depend on signing for information and guidance; highway authorities depend on signing for the efficient working and the enforcement of traffic regulations, for traffic control, and as an aid to road safety. Signing includes not only signs on posts but also carriageway markings, beacons, studs, bollards, traffic signals and other devices.

  • Signs must give road users their message clearly and at the correct time. The message must be unambiguous and speedily understood; it must be given not too soon for the information to have been forgotten before it is needed, and not too late for the safe performance of consequent manoeuvres.

  • Highway authorities are responsible for ensuring correct standards of signing on their roads; only they can erect traffic signs or permit their erection. The Police also have certain responsibilities.

  • Signs are used to control and guide traffic and to promote road safety. They should only be used where they can usefully serve these functions. Warning signs will not, for instance, promote road safety if used widely where there is no unusual degree of danger.

Themes:

Signs and markings, policy, legislation

Comments:

Robust government document

Free