In this blog we will explore some signs that look similar but have very different meanings and consequences along with others where the meanings are not completely known or understood.  The first photographs show two signs which look alike, when they are side by side; but how often will you see these signs side by side?

Probably never, save in this blog or the Highway Code. The one on the right is the Road Narrows From Both Sides sign.  The photo on the left is often confused with the one on the right, yet it means something very different…  End of Dual Carriageway.

If the End of Dual Carriageway sign is on a National Speed Limit road (70 mph) it also has a silent meaning – the speed now drops to the national speed limit for a single road, unless there is a speed limit sign to indicate otherwise.

In the next pair of signs that look similar, it is just as important to truly understand the exact meanings, otherwise things could go terribly wrong. The photo on the far right indicates ‘Pedestrians in the road with no footpath.’ whereas the photo next to it indicates ‘Beware of Children’.

So many drivers think both indicate children either at school, playground or at a school crossing.  For those signs there will be an additional rectangular information sign indicating what is happening with the children ahead.  Similarly, you will get a rectangular information sign indicating for how far there is no footpath.

Note the clothing being worn – in the children sign the images are in skirt and long trousers, yet the pedestrians and no footpath sign clearly has a difference in size of both images represented.

Bus Lanes – we have two birds with one stone here.

Red line – just don’t stop on a red line anywhere, save for a permitted parking bay, ensuring you comply with the time limit. Red line infringement can mean that if you stop or park, your vehicle could be towed away.   

A double red line ALWAYS means no stopping at any time.

Secondly the Bus Lane (not bus stop) – so many now are 24/7, which means you are not permitted in them at all. At some stage, you may find an end of Bus lane sign and arrows on the road indicating that lane can now be used. If you drive into a bus lane, the buses have CCTV and you may get a brown envelope in the post and a hefty fine.

If you run a fleet of vehicles on an ‘O’ Licence that could also mean that driver has just put points on your ‘O’ Licence as the information will go to the Traffic Commissioners.