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Understanding Regulatory Signs

Regulatory signs play a crucial role in informing road users about traffic laws and regulations. They provide clear instructions on what you must do in various situations where it may not be otherwise obvious. By obeying these signs, you not only ensure your own safety but also protect your passengers, other motorists, bike or personal mobility device riders, and pedestrians.

Regulatory signs come in four distinct shapes: octagons, rectangles, circles, and triangles. Each shape denotes a specific meaning or instruction that you must follow. It is important to understand and obey all instructions on regulatory signs to avoid fines and points deducted from your license. Additionally, local councils may have specific restrictions related to parking times, which are indicated on or near the sign.

Table of Contents

Types of Regulatory Signs

Stop Sign

Stop sign

At a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop and obey the give way rules.

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Give Way Sign

At a give way sign, you must slow down or stop, if required, and obey the give way rules.

Roundabout Sign

At a roundabout sign, you must slow down or stop, if required, and give way to all vehicles already on the roundabout.

Keep Left or Keep Right Signs

At a keep left sign, you must drive to the left of the sign. At a keep right sign, you must drive to the right of the sign.

No Entry Sign

This sign means you are not allowed to enter the area ahead. You must not drive past this sign.

No U-Turn Sign

If you see this sign, you must not make a U-turn. However, you can make a U-turn at any intersection without traffic lights or any break in the center island of the road, unless there is a no U-turn sign.

No Left Turn Sign

You must not turn left at an intersection or place with a no left turn sign.

No Right Turn Sign

You must not turn right at an intersection or place with a no right turn sign.

No Turns Sign

You must not turn right, turn left, or make a U-turn. You must drive in the direction of the arrow.

All Traffic Turn (Left or Right) Signs

You must turn in the direction of the arrow on the sign at the intersection.

Two-Way Sign

Vehicles travel in both directions on this section of road. You must drive to the left of the center of the road if there is no dividing line.

U-Turn Permitted Sign

You can only make a U-turn at traffic lights when there is a U-turn permitted sign.

One Way Sign

On one-way streets and roads, you must only drive in the direction of the arrow.

Left Lane Must Turn Left Sign

If you are in the left lane when you arrive at the intersection, you must turn left. If you do not wish to turn left, you should change lanes before you arrive at the intersection.

Right Lane Must Turn Right Sign

If you are in the right lane when you arrive at the intersection, you must turn right. If you do not wish to turn right, you should change lanes before you arrive at the intersection.

Left Lane Must Exit Sign

Anyone driving in the left lane of the freeway or motorway will need to exit up ahead. If you are in the left lane and do not wish to exit, you should change lanes.

Through Traffic Keep Left Sign

Through traffic should keep left.

Through Traffic Keep Right Sign

Through traffic should keep right.

Give Way to Pedestrians Sign

You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road that you are turning into.

Give Way to Buses Sign

When driving in a built-up area where the posted speed limit is 70km/h or less, you must give way to a bus that displays this sign if it is signaling to enter traffic from a bus zone, bus stop, shoulder of the road, or the left side of the road.

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Median Turning Lane Sign

You must turn right from the median turning lane at this sign and give way to oncoming vehicles.

Shared Zone Signs

A shared zone is an area where pedestrians and vehicles share the road. You must give way to pedestrians and keep to the speed limit shown on the sign.

Stop Sign (Hand Held)

Traffic controllers hold stop signs to help control traffic on work sites. You must stop and stay stopped until the traffic controller allows you to drive through.

Pedestrian Crossing Sign

This sign lets you know a pedestrian crossing is on the road. You must give way to pedestrians and bike or personal mobility device riders on or entering a pedestrian crossing.

Walk to Island and Wait for Further Signal Sign

Pedestrians will need to cross the road in two stages when this sign is at a set of traffic lights.

Children Crossing Sign

Children crossing flags are displayed near crossings around schools. A children’s crossing may be supervised. You must give way to pedestrians and bike or personal mobility device riders on or entering the crossing. Wait until all pedestrians and bike or personal mobility device riders have crossed the road and the crossing supervisor has returned to the footpath.

Hospital Zone Sign

A hospital zone is an area near a hospital where there are lots of pedestrians. You may need to drive at a slower speed.

School Zone Speed Limit Signs

A school zone speed limit sign will tell you the reduced speed limit that you must drive within when driving in the school zone. The sign also shows the times and days the speed limit applies. Schools that have campuses on both sides of a road can have an all-day school zone speed limit. These signs show the times the speed limit applies.

Speed Limit Signs

You must not drive faster than the speed limit shown in the circle. In poor conditions, it is safer to drive slower than the speed limit.

End Speed Limit Sign

This sign lets you know the previous speed limit has ended, and the default speed limit now applies.

Area Speed Zone Signs

The speed limit area sign shows you the speed limit you must travel within in the zoned area. A speed-limited area is a network of local roads with these signs placed at the entry and exit of the area. The end speed limit area sign lets you know when you have left the speed-limited area, and the default speed limit applies.

Roadwork Sign

This roadwork sign lets you know the road ahead is undergoing works. The roadwork sign may have a speed limit sign displayed.

Transit Lane Signs

These transit lane signs show the start and end of a transit lane. A T2 transit lane means you must have two or more people in the vehicle to use the lane. A T3 transit lane means you must have three or more people in the vehicle to use the lane. Buses, taxis, limousines, bicycles, and motorcycles can travel in transit lanes with or without passengers. Personal mobility device riders cannot travel in transit lanes.

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Transit Lane Restriction Sign

You can only drive in a transit lane if you have the minimum number of people during the days and times shown on the sign. Buses, taxis, limousines, bicycles, and motorcycles can travel in transit lanes with or without passengers. Personal mobility device riders cannot travel in transit lanes.

Freeway Signs

Freeway signs let you know when you are about to enter onto a freeway and where the freeway starts and finishes.

Wrong Way—Go Back Sign

This sign prevents you from driving in the wrong direction along an exit ramp of a motorway. If you do drive onto an exit ramp, stop and reverse back when safe to do so.

Emergency Stopping Lane Only Sign

An emergency stopping lane is a marked lane or part of a marked lane to which an emergency stopping lane only sign applies. This lane is kept free for emergencies. You must not drive in a signed emergency stopping lane unless you need to drive there to avoid a crash, you need to stop in an emergency, or your vehicle has become damaged or breaks down.

Prohibited on Freeway or Motorway Signs

Prohibited on freeway signs mean some road users cannot enter a freeway. These signs list the types of road users not allowed to enter a freeway: pedestrians, bike riders, mopeds, people riding an animal, and drivers of a tractor or a piece of agricultural machinery.

Keep Left Unless Overtaking Sign

You must not drive in the right lane unless there is an end keep left unless overtaking sign, the road is no longer multi-lane, you are driving in congested traffic, you need to turn right or make a U-turn, you need to avoid an obstacle, or you come to a T-intersection or the road ends.

No Overtaking or Passing Sign

You must not overtake or pass another vehicle from this sign to a specific distance or the end of a narrow length of road if the sign applies to a narrow length of road. Passing means driving past vehicles traveling in the opposite direction for this sign.

No Overtaking on Bridge Sign

You must not overtake another vehicle on the bridge.

Bridge Load Limit Signs

You must not drive past these signs if your vehicle weighs more than the amount shown on the sign. This restriction applies to heavy vehicles approaching a bridge.

Gross Load Limit Signs

You must not drive past these signs if your vehicle weighs more or is longer than what is shown on the sign. A detour sign will show a different route for vehicles that are too long or heavy.

Stop Here Signs

You must stop on the red signal when you see these signs and follow the direction. Twin flashing lights may accompany these signs where you would not have to stop normally.

Clearance and Low Clearance Signs

You must ensure the highest point of your vehicle is less than the height shown on the sign. If your vehicle is higher, you must not drive through. A detour sign will show a different route for vehicles that are too tall.

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Checking Station Entry Signs

If you are driving a bus or a truck, you must enter the area as directed by the sign. Checking stations and weighbridges are set up on roads for buses and trucks to check their weight and length.

Trucks and Buses Use Low Gear Sign

Trucks and buses must drive in a gear low enough to limit their speed without relying on their primary brake. You will see this sign on steep routes. An end truck and bus low gear area sign lets trucks and buses return to normal driving conditions.

Trucks Use Left Lane Sign

Trucks must use the lane on the left.

Railway Crossing Signs

These signs let you know there is a railway crossing and the number of tracks at the crossing. Queensland Rail provides information on the safe use of rail crossings.

Bus Lane Sign

You must not drive in a bus lane unless you are driving a bus, taxi, or limousine, or riding a bicycle. Personal mobility device riders cannot drive in a bus lane.

Bus Lane Ahead Sign

This sign means the lane ahead operates as a bus lane during the days and times listed.

Truck Lane Sign

You must not drive in a truck lane unless you are driving a truck.

Tram Lane Sign

Tram lane signs let you know tram tracks are on the road and are for tram use only.

Tram Only Sign

This sign lets you know the lane ahead is for trams.

Bus Only Sign

This sign lets you know the lane ahead is for buses.

Bicycle Lane Sign

Bicycle lanes are for use by bike riders. You can stop or park in a marked bicycle lane unless there are signs or road markings prohibiting you from doing so. Personal mobility devices can be ridden in bike lanes on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or less. You must give way to bicycles and personal mobility devices when moving into or turning across a bicycle lane.

Bicycle Path Only Sign

This sign lets you know the path is for bicycles and personal mobility devices only.

Shared Path Sign

This sign means pedestrians and bike or personal mobility device riders must share the path. On shared paths, personal mobility device riders are required to travel at not more than 12km/h unless otherwise signed.

25km speed limit for personal mobility devices on paths

Personal Mobility Device Speed Limit Sign and Road Marking

This sign or road marking is used on certain paths to indicate that personal mobility device riders are permitted to travel up to 25km/h.

Separated Path Signs

These signs show the path is split, with one side for bike or personal mobility device riders and one side for pedestrians. You must stay on the pedestrian side if you are a pedestrian and stay on the bicycle side if you are a bike or personal mobility device rider.

Pedestrians May Cross Diagonally Sign

This sign lets pedestrians cross diagonally at traffic lights. You will see this sign in central city locations on or near the traffic signal push button. It is also known as a scramble crossing. Bike and personal mobility device riders are permitted to ride across scramble crossings.

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No Buses Sign

A bus driver must not drive past a no bus sign.

No Trucks Sign

A truck driver must not drive past a no trucks sign.

No Bicycles Sign

A bike rider must not ride past a no bicycles sign.

No personal mobility device on path speed sign

No Personal Mobility Device Sign and Road Marking

A personal mobility device rider must not ride past a no personal mobility device sign or road marking.

No Pedestrians Sign

Pedestrians must not walk past a no pedestrians sign.

Parking Zone Signs

These regulatory signs inform you where you are allowed to park or stop. They provide information on area zones, what vehicles can park, the times and time limit you can be in the area, and if payment is required.

Bus Zone Sign

A bus zone is a length of road where buses can stop.

Taxi Zone Sign

A taxi zone is a length of road where taxis can stop, pick up, or set down passengers. You must not stop in a taxi zone unless you are driving a taxi.

Permit Zone Sign

A permit zone allows you to stop or park in the zoned area if you have a permit to do so.

Loading Zone Signs

You must not stop in a loading zone unless you are dropping off or picking up passengers (stopping no more than 2 minutes), dropping off or picking up passengers with a disability (stopping no more than 5 minutes), dropping off or picking up goods (stopping no more than 20 minutes), have a commercial vehicle identification label (issued by the local government for that area), or are driving a bus, truck, or commercial vehicle (stopping for no more than 30 minutes). The sign may specify a length of time for stopping, and you must follow the times displayed on the sign.

Truck Zone Sign

A truck zone is a length of road where trucks can park or stop. You must not stop in a truck zone unless you are driving a truck.

Works Zone Sign

A works zone is a length of road outside a work site where construction vehicles can stop and park.

Mail Zone Sign

A mail zone is a length of road near postal facilities where mail vehicles can stop and park. You must not stop in a mail zone unless you are driving a postal service vehicle.

No Parking Signs

You are not allowed to park in the designated area at any time. If the sign has a time displayed, you can park outside of those hours for a limited time. However, you may only stop to pick up or drop off passengers or goods for a maximum of 2 minutes, unless the sign allows a longer time. You must not leave the vehicle unattended.

Area Parking Control Ahead Sign

This sign lets you know the area ahead is a controlled parking area. A parking area sign will show the entry and exit of the parking area boundary.

No Parking Area Signs

You must not park in the signed area during the times displayed on the sign. You can park outside of the times displayed.

Parking Area Signs

These signs provide information on parking restrictions for the area. They include the name of the parking area, how long you can park for, hours and days of the week when the parking rules apply, and if you need to pay at a parking meter.

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Parking Signs

Parking signs let you know where you can park on a section of the road. They display parking information, including how long you can park, where you can park, hours and days of the week that the parking rules apply, and if you need to pay at a parking meter. The letter P on its own means there is no time limit and you can park any time for any length of time. A number before or next to the P means there is a time limit for how long you can park within the specified hours.

Park in Bays Only Sign

You must only park in the available car parking bays.

Parking Areas for Electric-Powered Vehicles

You may only park an electric-powered vehicle, and the vehicle must be plugged in to an external source of electricity.

No Stopping Signs

You must not stop your vehicle at a no stopping sign. The times on the sign indicate when you cannot stop between the specified times and on the designated days. Unless another sign applies, stopping and parking is allowed outside the times and days shown.

No Stopping Area Signs

These signs provide information on the restrictions for the area, including the name of the no stopping area and the times you must not stop.

Clearway Signs

You must not stop on a length of road that has a clearway sign unless you are driving a bus, taxi, or limousine and are dropping off or picking up passengers. If you park or stop in a clearway, you may be fined, and your vehicle may be towed away. This sign usually applies during peak hour traffic, and the hours that it applies are displayed on the sign.

Tow-Away Zone Signs

If you park or stop in a tow-away zone, you may be fined, and your vehicle may be towed away. You must obey the rules of the car parking area. These signs can be used with clearway signs.

Supplementary Signs for Regulatory Signs

Supplementary signs are used alongside warning and regulatory signs to provide extra information. They may provide information on restrictions for time, vehicles, direction, or distance.

Exception Signs

These signs allow authorized vehicles to go through a regulatory sign where other vehicles are not allowed. Exception signs are often used with regulatory signs.

Ahead Arrow Sign

These signs are used on side roads to let you know a bus, transit, or truck lane is ahead at the intersection. They are placed with bus lane signs, transit lane signs, and truck lane signs.

Ahead Sign

The ahead sign lets you know that a lane restriction is ahead because it is only used with bus lane signs, transit lane signs, and truck lane signs. You must not drive in these lanes unless you have the required number of passengers or are driving a bus, taxi, or limousine, or riding a bicycle. Personal mobility devices cannot ride in these lanes.

Time of Operation Signs

A time of operation sign shows the time and days when the regulatory sign above it is in operation. This sign may be used with no U-turn signs, no left turn and no right turn signs, and no turn signs. It sits below the regulatory sign.

Distance and Location Signs

These signs let you know a single lane restriction is about to begin. They are used with no U-turn signs, no left turn and no right turn signs, and no turn signs.

At All Times Sign

Used with a regulatory sign to indicate that the restriction applies at all times.

One Lane Sign

You will see this sign at the beginning of a one-lane bridge or other roadway with a give-way sign. You must give way as there is only one lane available.

End Sign

The end sign lets you know the previous regulatory sign restriction has ended.

Left Lane or Right Lane Signs

These signs may be used with bus lane signs, transit lane signs, and truck lane signs. They show you the side the lane restriction applies to.

Lane Signs

These signs provide additional information for low clearance or clearance signs. They tell you that the clearance height applies to the lane or direction shown on the sign.

FAQs

  1. What do regulatory signs mean?
    Regulatory signs inform road users of traffic laws and regulations and provide instructions on what you must do in different situations.

  2. How should I obey regulatory signs?
    You must obey all instructions on regulatory signs to avoid fines and points deducted from your license. Failure to comply may result in penalties.

  3. Are there different shapes of regulatory signs?
    Yes, regulatory signs come in four distinct shapes: octagons, rectangles, circles, and triangles.

  4. Can local councils have additional parking restrictions?
    Yes, local councils may have specific parking restrictions relating to parking times, which are indicated on or near the sign.

  5. Can I park in loading zones?
    You can only stop in a loading zone for specific purposes and for a limited time. Make sure to follow the times displayed on the sign.

Conclusion

Regulatory signs are essential for maintaining order and safety on the roads. Understanding and obeying these signs is crucial for all road users. By following the instructions on regulatory signs, you can ensure your own safety and the safety of others. Always stay vigilant and drive responsibly.

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