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Signs with Red Background: Warning

By: Simon McBride - Updated: 7 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
Traffic Signs Red Background Warning

A sign with a red background and shaped in a triangle is usually to warn motorists that there may be a hazard ahead on the road network.

So if you come upon a sign with an equilateral triangular shape and it has a white background and a thick red border then you should slow down as extra care is needed over this part of the road.

General Warning Signs

There are times when a general warning sign can be used, this is usually when the hazard has not got an identity of its own.

Motorists will find this, for example, when you come across a ‘Hidden Dip’, the text states what the hazard is but the sign has an exclamation mark, which means that you should treat this part of the road with caution.

Curves and Corners

These signs are usually found on approach to dangerous corners or bends. Normally these are unexpected turns as the bend is usually sharper than we anticipate or that it continues for a longer length of time.

The sign will warn drivers of the way the bend curves and how sharp the turn may be. If there is a sign with more than one bend marked on the sign you can expect that there are a string of dangerous curves coming up.


When approaching a bridge there are usually signs informing motorists of the restrictions and for larger vehicles there is usually an alternative route so that they can be directed around the obstacle.

Traffic Signals

So that you are slowing up signs warning of traffic lights are usually well placed and can be up to 300 yards off where the actual lighted junction is located. These lighted junctions are more common when driving in the urban environment, however they can be used to control the flow of traffic through a roadwork or over a narrow stretch of road that can only cope with vehicles in single file.


Care is needed when you approach signs warning of other roads joining the main road. There are numerous signs that will warn you of this ranging from a simple crossroads sign to a more complicated traffic merges from the right (or left depending on how the sign is drawn).

Other junctions to be wary of, include, the staggered junction sign and the side road. You should remember that priority through junctions is indicated by the thicker black line on the sign-post.

Road Narrows

This can be found when you are coming to the end of a dual carriageway or a climbing lane. The road is returning to a single lane highway. You should have all your overtaking manoeuvres completed before the road starts to narrow.

Oncoming Traffic

Following on from the road narrows sign, the sign for oncoming traffic is usually next up. It signifies that there is oncoming traffic and that there is now no central reservation to separate the lanes.

Road Conditions

If a certain road has a history of being treacherous in adverse weather conditions then signs are usually located in the vicinity that tell motorists that it may be ‘Icy’ or ‘Slippery When Wet’.

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Please can you settle an argument.What does a square sign with a blue border and a number in blue mean.Usually on a bend I said it means recommended speed limit.My friend says it means minimum speed limit.e.g On a particular road here the speed is 100k per hour and on the bend it shows this sign with 80 Many thanks Cecelia Rodrigues
cels - 7-Aug-15 @ 11:11 AM
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