[Infographic] Road Signs and What they Mean

Published: March 24, 2015 | Updated: August 6, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Lifestyle


Road Signs and What they Mean
Ah, the humble traffic sign. You see them every single day whenever you hit the road. You covered them in passing during the exam you took for your driver’s license. On lazy days, you’ve probably also wondered about why they exist. Where did they come from? Who decides all those shapes and colors? And why do they look the same in almost every country?

Read More: 10 Weird Traffic Laws You Never Knew Existed

As it turns out, all those near-identical “STOP” and “YIELD” signs are no coincidence. Road signs have been around for about as long as there were roads, as well as travellers who needed help to get from one town to another. As faster modes of transport like bicycles and cars grew popular, so too did the need for a standardized system of road signs that almost anybody on wheels could understand.

In 1968, the United Nations Economic and Social Council concluded its Conference on Road Traffic with the signing of two international treaties, one of which was the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. This treaty, an update of the 1949 Geneva Protocol, has become the widely-used standard for road signs throughout Europe and other parts of the world.

While a total of 63 countries have served as parties in the treaty, the Vienna Convention is by no means the only road sign convention followed globally. The United States follows its own standard called the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTDC), a variation of which is also used in places like Australia and New Zealand.

Nation-specific road sign systems also exist, each with their own unique quirks. Many countries, such as Mexico and Thailand, use hybrids of well-known systems like those in Europe and the US. The United Kingdom meanwhile has its own set of conventions[1], developed in the 1960s by the historic Worboys Committee.

Sadly, not even the most well-designed traffic signs can prevent all road accidents from happening. That is why you need to get a good car insurance plan so that you don’t lose your hard-earned money to the high cost of repairs and third-person liability. With the help of MoneyMax, you can find a policy that fits with your budget and hit the road without fear.
Anatomy of a traffic sign infographic

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