road signs and traffic signs

Road Signs & Traffic Signs in Australia: The Definitive Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Feb 16, 2021

Traffic signs provide information on road rules and conditions while also warning you of possible dangers. There are many road signs in Australia that you must know to safely operate your vehicle. If you are new to driving, it’s vital that you learn these before you get behind the wheel for the first time.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Warning Signs – These alert you to possible dangers ahead. Usually yellow diamond shapes with black symbols or words.
  • Regulatory Signs – These inform drivers of traffic laws and regulations. Road users must obey all instructions on regulatory signs. 
  • Road Work Signs – These are used at road works to create a safe environment for workers on or near the road. 
  • Guide and Information Signs – The last type of road sign used in Australia are the information signs. They give information to the driver about, for example, distance to a town or city.

If you want to learn about Australian Parking Signs & Their Meaning, jump straight to our article covering them in great detail..

Warning Signs

Sharp Left or Right Turn Sign

This sign indicates that there is a sharp left/right turn ahead.

Curve to Left or Right Sign

Reverse Turn Sign, First to Left / Right

Reverse Curve Sign, First to Left / Right 

Series of Curves Ahead, First to Left / Right

Hairpin Bend to Left / Right

This sign indicates a sharp bend greater than 90 degrees to the left/right ahead. 

Tilting Truck Sign

Advisory Exit Speed

Exit Advisory Speed With Turn to Left / Right

Exit Advisory Speed With Curve to Left / Right 

Exit Advisory Speed With Reverse Curve, First to Left / Right

Exit Advisory Speed With Hairpin Bend to Left / Right

Roundabout Ahead Sign

Crossroad Intersection 

Crossroad Intersection on a Curve to the Left / Right

T-Intersection Sign 

This sign indicates that the road you are driving on ends, and you must give way to all traffic.

Side Road Intersection from Left or Right

Staggered Side Road Intersection, First from Left / Right 

Side Road Intersection on a Curve to Left / Right 

Take note of the direction of the side road. It will appear from the left or right as shown by the sign.

Crossroad Intersection on a Curve to Left / Right

Staggered Side Road Intersection, First From Left / Right

Take note of the directions of the side roads. The side road intersections will appear in the same order.

Staggered Side Road Junction Sign

Side Road Intersection Sign

Side road intersection entering straight ahead on a curve on left/right

Double Side Road Intersection Sign 

Priority Side Road Intersection from Left / Right

Priority Side Road Intersection from Left / Right

Priority Crossroad Intersection

Traffic Signals Ahead 

Prepare to Stop Sign

Stop Sign Ahead Sign

Give Way Sign Ahead 

Road Hump Ahead Sign

Road Narrows Sign

Narrow Bridge Sign

Divided Road Sign 

End Divided Road Sign

Merging Traffic from Left / Right Sign

Added Lane Sign 

Warning for Pedestrians Sign

Pedestrian Crossing Ahead Sign

Warning for Children Sign

Lane Allocation Ahead Sign (Three-Way Traffic)

This sign indicates that you will have two lines of oncoming traffic ahead.

Two-Way Traffic Ahead Sign

Low Clearance Ahead Sign

If your vehicle has a height higher than indicated on the sign, you need to find an alternate route. There will likely be a tunnel or underpass that restricts the clearance on the road ahead.

Road Hump Sign

This sign indicates that there is a road hump i.e. sudden slope up then down

Dip Sign

This sign indicates that there is a dip i.e. sudden slope down then up

Crest Sign 

This sign indicates that you will not be able to see a safe distance in front of you. Drive cautiously.

Slippery Road Sign

Grid Sign

This sign indicates that there is a row of metal lengths across the road.

Stock Crossing Sign

Falling Rocks to Left / Right Sign 

Warning for Wild Animals

These signs can be of practically any animal, such as Kangaroos, Koalas, Camels, Emus, or Brumbies.

Farm Machinery Sign

Wind Gust Sign

Equestrians Ahead Sign 

Trucks Crossing or Entering Sign

This sign indicates that there are slow moving vehicles, likely trucks, entering the traffic stream or crossing the road.

Railway Level Crossing with Flashing Signals Ahead

Railway Level Crossing Ahead

Railway Level Crossing on Road ahead

Railway Level Crossing on Road ahead (skewed) left/right

Railway Level Crossing on Side Road Left / Right

Regulatory Signs

Give Way Sign

The Give Way sign indicates you must slow down and, if required, stop and obey the give way rules.

Stop Sign

The STOP sign indicates you must come to a complete stop and obey the give way rules.

Give Way at Roundabout Sign 

The Give Way at Roundabout sign indicates you must slow down or, if required, stop. You must give way to all vehicles already in the roundabout.

One-Way Traffic Sign

You must only drive in the direction of the arrow.

Two-Way Traffic Sign

Vehicles will travel in both directions on this section of the road. Keep left.

One Way Left or Right Sign

These signs indicate one way roads. Drive in the direction of the arrow.

No Left or Right Turn 

You are not permitted to turn left/right.

Turn Left or Right Sign

You must turn in the direction of the arrow.

No U-Turn Sign

You are not permitted to do a U turn.

U-Turn Permitted

You are permitted to make a U turn next to this sign.

No Turns Sign

This sign indicates you must not make any turns. Drive straight ahead only.

Right Lane Must Turn Right Sign

Traffic in the right lane must turn right.

Left Lane Must Turn Right Sign

Traffic in the left lane must turn left.

Left Turn on Red Permitted After Stopping Sign

You are permitted to make a left turn on red after coming to a full stop, but you must give way to all traffic on the road you are turning into.

Keep Left or Right Sign

Keep to the left or right of this sign as indicated.

Left Lane Must Exit Sign

Traffic in the left lane must exit

Speed Limit Sign

This sign indicates the maximum speed allowed. You must not drive faster than indicated by the speed limit sign.

Speed Zone Area

This sign indicates the speed limit within the area you are entering.

End of Speed Zone Area 

This sign indicates you are leaving the area covered by the speed limit restriction.

Speed Derestriction Sign

This sign indicates the default speed limit will apply.

End of Speed Limit

This sign indicates the end of the given speed limit. The default speed limit will apply.

Shared Zone Sign 

You must not exceed the speed shown, and you must give way to all pedestrians (i.e. pedestrians have total priority over other traffic)..

School Zone Sign

The given speed limit restriction will apply during the displayed times.

Parking Permitted: No Limit

Parking Permitted: 15 Minutes

This sign indicates you are allowed to park for 15 minutes between 9am – 4pm Monday-Friday and 9am – 12noon on saturdays in the direction of the arrow.

Parking Permitted: 1.5 Hours 

This sign indicates you are allowed to park for 90 minutes between 9am – 4pm Monday-Friday and 9am – 12noon on saturdays in the direction of the arrow.

2 Hour Parking Area

The entire area will follow the instructions on this parking sign (unless otherwise signed). 

No Parking Sign 

You must not park in the direction of the arrow(s). Hours of operation may apply, meaning the restriction applies for those times only.

No Parking Area Sign

Clearway Sign

This sign indicates the roads function as clearways in the direction shown by the arrow(s).  Hours of operation may apply, meaning the restriction applies for those times only.

No Stopping Sign

This sign indicates that in the direction of the arrow(s) you must not stop your vehicle unless an emergency. Hours of operation may apply, meaning the restriction applies for those times only.

No Stopping Area Sign

Permit Zone Sign

This sign means there is a permit zone between 9am-4pm Monday-Friday in the direction of the arrow.

Bus Zone / Taxi Zone / Truck Zone

Loading Zone / Works Zone / Mail Zone 

Emergency Stopping Lane Only

No Overtaking or Passing Sign

This sign indicates that you must not overtake any vehicle that is travelling in the same direction, but also that you must give way to any vehicles that are travelling in the opposite direction.

Special Stop Sign

This sign is mainly used in New South Wales. It means STOP when traffic lights are off or flashing.

No Buses / Trucks / Pedestrians / Bicycles Signs

Buses/Trucks/Pedestrians/Bicycles are not allowed beyond this sign.

No Entry

No entry means you should not drive beyond this sign.

Railway Crossbuck

This sign indicates a railway crossing. You should be very careful when you proceed and follow any supplementary signs.

Median Turning Lane Sign

Used so vehicles in either direction can enter/leave the road. These lanes are a shared part of the road and vehicles in a median turning lane must give way to other vehicles. 

Keep Left Unless Overtaking Sign

You must stay in the left lane unless overtaking.

Prohibited on Freeways

This sign indicates you are entering a freeway, and the specified vehicles/pedestrians must not enter.

T2 & T3 Transit Lane Restriction Signs

The T2 Transit Lane sign indicates you are only allowed to drive in the transit lane if there are 2 or more people in the vehicle including the driver. Hours of operation may apply, meaning the restriction applies for those times only (e.g. between 6am-10am Monday-Friday).

The T3 Transit Lane sign indicates you are only allowed to drive in the transit lane if there are 3 or more people in the vehicle including the driver. Hours of operation may apply, meaning the restriction applies for those times only (e.g. between 6am-10am Monday-Friday). 

Buses Only / Bicycles Only

Bicycle Lane / Bus Lane / Truck Lane

Shared Path Pedestrian & Cyclists

Separated Path Pedestrians & Cyclists 

Give Way to Buses Sign

This sign indicates you must give way to a bus ahead of you if the bus is signalling to enter traffic on roads in built-up areas.

Pedestrian Crossing

This sign indicates there is a pedestrian crossing. Slow down and obey the rules. New versions have fluorescent green/yellow colour

Road Work Signs

There are many different signs used at roadworks. Below are a number of them

Roadwork Ahead Sign

You should be prepared to slow down due to changed road conditions ahead.

Road Plant Ahead Sign

This sign is used where machinery is working on the road.

Workers Ahead Sign

This sign indicates there are workers on the road ahead and that you should slow down and proceed with care.

Traffic Hazard Ahead Sign

This sign is used to warn motorists of hazards ahead. It’s only used for emergency purposes, so slow down and proceed with care. 

Temporary Traffic Signals Ahead Sign 

There will be temporary traffic signals ahead.

Close Lane(s) Ahead Sign

The bars indicate the closed lane(s).

Hazardous Road Surface Conditions Ahead

This sign indicates the road has hazardous road surface conditions ahead. Keep this in mind and adjust your driving accordingly. 

Loose Stones or Gravel Ahead Sign

Be aware that there are loose stones and gravel on the road surface and that it may be best to avoid overtaking another vehicle on this stretch of road.

Guide and Information Signs

Reduce Speed Sign

Wrong Way – Go Back Sign

Freeway Signs

End Freeway 1 km

Emergency Median Crossing Sign

Route Markers

National Highway Marker

National Route Marker

State Route Marker

Tourist Drive Marker

Alphanumeric Route Marker

Alphanumeric route marker. To identify our freeways and roads, alpha-numeric markings are used. They help make it easier to plan and navigate road networks by linking the road guidance system to national and interstate routes.

  • ‘M’ – motorways of national significance
  • ‘A’ – routes of national significance
  • ‘B’ – routes with state significance
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