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Road Signs & Traffic Signs in Australia: The Definitive Guide

Road Signs & Traffic Signs in Australia: The Definitive Guide

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

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

Curve to Left or Right Sign

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Reverse Turn Sign, First to Left / Right

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Reverse Curve Sign, First to Left / Right 

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Series of Curves Ahead, First to Left / Right

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Hairpin Bend to Left / Right

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

Tilting Truck Sign

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Advisory Exit Speed

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Exit Advisory Speed With Turn to Left / Right

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Exit Advisory Speed With Curve to Left / Right 

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

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Exit Advisory Speed With Hairpin Bend to Left / Right

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Roundabout Ahead Sign

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Crossroad Intersection 

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Crossroad Intersection on a Curve to the Left / Right

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T-Intersection Sign 

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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

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Staggered Side Road Intersection, First from Left / Right 

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Side Road Intersection on a Curve to Left / Right 

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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

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Staggered Side Road Intersection, First From Left / Right

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

Staggered Side Road Junction Sign

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Side Road Intersection Sign

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

Double Side Road Intersection Sign 

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Priority Side Road Intersection from Left / Right

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Priority Side Road Intersection from Left / Right

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Priority Crossroad Intersection

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Traffic Signals Ahead 

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Prepare to Stop Sign

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Stop Sign Ahead Sign

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Give Way Sign Ahead 

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Road Hump Ahead Sign

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Road Narrows Sign

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Narrow Bridge Sign

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Divided Road Sign 

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End Divided Road Sign

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Merging Traffic from Left / Right Sign

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Added Lane Sign 

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Warning for Pedestrians Sign

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Pedestrian Crossing Ahead Sign

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Warning for Children Sign

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Lane Allocation Ahead Sign (Three-Way Traffic)

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

Two-Way Traffic Ahead Sign

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Low Clearance Ahead Sign

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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

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

Dip Sign

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

Crest Sign 

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

Slippery Road Sign

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Grid Sign

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

Stock Crossing Sign

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Falling Rocks to Left / Right Sign 

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Warning for Wild Animals

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

Farm Machinery Sign

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Wind Gust Sign

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Equestrians Ahead Sign 

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Trucks Crossing or Entering Sign

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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

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Railway Level Crossing Ahead

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Railway Level Crossing on Road ahead

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

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Railway Level Crossing on Side Road Left / Right

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Regulatory Signs

Give Way Sign

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

Stop Sign

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

Give Way at Roundabout Sign 

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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.

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Two-Way Traffic Sign

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

One Way Left or Right Sign

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

No Left or Right Turn 

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You are not permitted to turn left/right.

Turn Left or Right Sign

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You must turn in the direction of the arrow.

No U-Turn Sign

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You are not permitted to do a U turn.

U-Turn Permitted

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

No Turns Sign

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

Right Lane Must Turn Right Sign

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Traffic in the right lane must turn right.

Left Lane Must Turn Right Sign

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Traffic in the left lane must turn left.

Left Turn on Red Permitted After Stopping Sign

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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

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

Left Lane Must Exit Sign

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Traffic in the left lane must exit

Speed Limit Sign

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

Speed Zone Area

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

End of Speed Zone Area 

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

Speed Derestriction Sign

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This sign indicates the default speed limit will apply.

End of Speed Limit

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

Shared Zone Sign 

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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

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

Parking Permitted: No Limit

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Parking Permitted: 15 Minutes

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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 

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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

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

No Parking Sign 

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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

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Clearway Sign

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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

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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

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Permit Zone Sign

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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

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Loading Zone / Works Zone / Mail Zone 

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Emergency Stopping Lane Only

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No Overtaking or Passing Sign

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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

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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

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

No Entry

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No entry means you should not drive beyond this sign.

Railway Crossbuck

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

Median Turning Lane Sign

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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

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You must stay in the left lane unless overtaking.

Prohibited on Freeways

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

T2 & T3 Transit Lane Restriction Signs

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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).

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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

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Bicycle Lane / Bus Lane / Truck Lane

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Shared Path Pedestrian & Cyclists

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Separated Path Pedestrians & Cyclists 

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Give Way to Buses Sign

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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

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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

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

Road Plant Ahead Sign

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

Workers Ahead Sign

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

Traffic Hazard Ahead Sign

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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 

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There will be temporary traffic signals ahead.

Close Lane(s) Ahead Sign

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The bars indicate the closed lane(s).

Hazardous Road Surface Conditions Ahead

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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

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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

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Wrong Way – Go Back Sign

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Freeway Signs

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End Freeway 1 km

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Emergency Median Crossing Sign

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Route Markers

National Highway Marker

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National Route Marker

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State Route Marker

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Tourist Drive Marker

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Alphanumeric Route Marker

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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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