Driving Theory: Signs and Warnings

When learning how to drive, the most important thing (besides wearing a seatbelt) is knowing what the signs on the road mean and how they may impact how you drive in particular spaces.

Today's post will focus on giving you a greater understanding of the signs to do with speed and will help you in your journey up until your driving theory test!


The following signs are some of the signs that are used in the UK to denote maximum speed limits.

It is clear that one of these symbols which is unlike the others, which is the National Speed Limit sign. This can have different meanings based on where it is used. For example, on a road that has only one lane for each direction (as shown below with the image of a single carriageway), the National Speed L imit sign would mean that the speed limit is 60 mph.

However, on a dual carriageway, the sign would mean that the speed limit is 70mph, which is also the default speed on motorways in the UK.

The image above shows the ways in which the roads in the UK can be different and how that may impact your driving. It can be a bit confusing at times as you can see there is not really much difference between the middle and right photos above. However, the central road markings make a major difference between these two different lane types.

Another confusing thing that may happen when driving on UK roads is the dreaded feeling when you're on a road and you don't know what the speed limit is. My driving instructor taught me a very good way to figure this out. When a road has a lane running in each direction, and there are street lights along the roads, it is most likely to be a 30mph zone. Of course, looking for the signs are the best option but if there aren't any signs or if you haven't caught any of the reminders (the same versions of the signs above but smaller and usually attached to street lights).

Usually when on regular roads in the UK, if it is any speed other than 30mph, there will be multiple signs of that, to make sure that drivers see the speed change.

Speed changes are not always displayed on signs however, they can be shown on the road itself by paint, or if you are driving on the motorway, it can be shown by the LED panels above the road (see below for examples of these circumstances).

If you have any questions or any comments, please feel free to leave them below!

Stay safe,

VZYC Manchester

39 views0 comments