Guide 3: Road Signs

Understanding road signs is vital to being safe and alert on the road. When you’re confident with the different signs you’ll see out and about your ride with more confidence and awareness. In this guide we cover some of most important (but not all) signs for new motorcyclists.

road sign

Signs that are red circles give orders that must be obeyed

This sign indicates that no motor vehicles are permitted beyond this point.

arrow up sign

Signs that are blue circles (with no red border) give instructions that must be followed

This sign shows the direction you must travel in - ‘ahead only’.

warning signs

Signs that are triangular give warnings

This sign shows that traffic is merging from left ahead - The priority through route is indicated by the broader line.

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direction sign

All signs giving directions are rectangular but colours vary

Motorways have blue backgrounds, main roads have green backgrounds, and local routes have white backgrounds with black borders.

hump sign

Road humps - these are designed to calm traffic

give way sign

Give way to oncoming vehicles

Vehicles travelling in the direction of the black arrow have priority over those travelling the other way (red arrow).

banned turn sign

Banned turn

In this case you must not make a right turn.

keep left sign

Keep left

This is commonly seen as you approach traffic islands. You must keep to the left-hand side of the sign as you pass it.

road narrowing

Road Narrowing

This sign will indicate which side of the road will narrow. This example shows that the road will narrow on the right hand side.

side winds

Side winds

This is of particular importance to motorcyclist, as side winds affect stability.

parking signs

Parking solely for motorcycles

slippery road sign

Slippery roads ahead

stop sign

All vehicles must stop and give way before moving beyond the sign

There will also be a solid white line across the road.

do not enter sign

No entry for any vehicles

controlled sign

Restricted parking

These signs show when and where parking is allowed on the road. In some locations parking may be banned at all times.

red route sign

Red route - No stopping is allowed for any reason except busses, unless indicated by a sign during certain times

These roads may also be indicated by red lines at the side instead of the usual yellow lines.

bus lane sign

Bus lane operational at all times shown

Motorcycles are not permitted to use bus lanes unless a motorcycle symbol is shown on the sign.

No U Turn sign

No U turns allowed

No vehicles

No motor vehicles allowed

roundabout ahead

Roundabout ahead

Take some time to go through the different types of signs, what they mean and where you might see them. Practice with a friend and when you feel confident move onto guide 4.

NEXT: Guide 4: Roundabouts

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.