User:Cassowary/road signs in Australia

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Road Signs in Australia are regulated by state governments but largely standardised throughout the country by Australian standard AS1743. Since 1999, differences in new signs are almost entirely limited to typographical or linguistic variation. Australian road signs show considerable similarity to American road signs, but because there are no international agreements, there is less similarity than between European countries.

This article describes the current Australian road signs. many pre-1999 state-specific signs still exist but can easily be understood due to the similar iconography and/or words. Note that traffic in Australia drives on the left.

Stop, give way and crossings[edit]

The pedestrian crossing sign is used at zebra crossings. The unusual format for an Australian regulatory sign is because this sign comes from a system used before the 1970s in which all regulatory signs were yellow and circular. Only this sign and the "safety zone" sign below still have this format.

The Childrens crossing flag is attached to red-and-white striped posts when children are arriving at or leaving school.

Speed Limit[edit]

Unlike in other countries which use red rings in speed limit signs, Australian speed limit signs are rectangular. This is because when the country converted to metric units, stickers showing the metric speed limit in the new style were placed on top of the old speed limit signs in miles per hour, which looked similar to current American speed limit signs.

In Australia, the red ring is not used for any other purpose and is strongly associated with speed limits (prohibition signs always contain a slash, and the European "no entry from either side" sign is replaced either with a "no entry" sign or a "road closed" sign). See for instance the "new speed limit ahead" warning sign.


Mandatory directions[edit]

A one way sign more similar to the one used internationaly (a black background, with a white arrow and the words "one way" in it) is commonly seen, but has been deprecated by the one shown, and is subject to replacement. The regulatory two-way sign shown here is mostly used in service roads. A two-way warning sign is commonly used at the end of a divided road.

The last group are used more rarely in Australia than in Europe. Instead, directional prohibition signs are used. In some states, older variants of these signs can be seen with "all" or "All traffic" instead of "only".

Restricted lanes[edit]

Restricted lanes are have signs with the word “LANE” on them. Traffic may use these lanes within 100 metres of making a turn, so long as they do not delay the type of traffic they are intended for.

Exclusive lanes[edit]

Exclusive lanes have signs with the word “ONLY” on them. Other traffic may not use exclusive lanes at all.

Size and weight limits[edit]

Lines on the road[edit]

Because it rarely snows in Australia, many lines on the road will be used to indicate things which are indicated by signs in the European system: In particular, priority is indicated entirely by a continuation of lane and centre-of-road lines, and overtaking restrictions are rarely signed.