Road symbols are the pictorial representations having different necessary information required to be understood by every road user. As you all know, road safety is very much important to minimize accidents and to rescue your life. Whether a person on the vehicle or a pedestrian, a sound knowledge of traffic signs is a must. Being aware of the road signs will help you to recognize the meaning and importance of each and every sign such as the road conditions ahead, what instructions you should follow at the major crossroads or at the junctions, proper warnings and guidance for the drivers. For getting a driving license, a person must be completely familiar with the traffic signs- verbally as well as on paper.

all traffic signs and their meanings-in-india

Road safety signs are basically divided into three broad categories, namely- Mandatory signs, Cautionary signs and Informatory signs.

Let’s have a look over them one by one.

Mandatory Signs

These signs are for informing the users about the specific laws & regulations to ensure safety and to make sure about the clear movement of traffic. As the name itself says mandatory, that means any violation of these signs will leave you in trouble and that will be considered as a legal offence. These signs notify a person about the special obligations, prohibitions and the restrictions. Most of the signs under this category are round shaped, may get the symbols painted white on a blue background, having a white border or maybe there is a white background to carry black symbols with a red border. However, the last-mentioned may also be associated with restrictive signs. Here’s the list giving the meanings of mandatory signs.

Traffic Signs Name Their Meanings
traffic Stop sign Stop The sign indicates that the drivers must stop right there at their place.
Give way Give Way
The sign is used to give a direction to the traffic to give way to right side drivers.
No-Entry No Entry This sign clearly shows that there is a restricted area ahead, so the driver should not go and reroute.
One Way One Way This indicates that the traffic is allowed to be moved in a single direction.
Vehicles Prohibited in Both Directions Vehicles Prohibited in Both Directions The sign suggests the area ahead is blocked from both the sides. The traffic can not be moved from either side
Right Turn Prohibited Right Turn Prohibited The sign directs the driver to evade right turn
Left Turn Prohibited Left Turn Prohibited The sign directs the driver to evade left turn.
U Turn Prohibited U-Turn Prohibited The sign directs the driver to evade left turn.
Overtaking Prohibited Overtaking Prohibited Sometimes, at highways or where the roads are narrow or at bridges, overtaking proves to be extremely dangerous. The signs are put over these kind of places to ensure safety.
Horn Prohibited Horn Prohibited When there’s no requirement of honking, then this sign is put so that the drivers should respect the silence and do not use horn.
No-Parking No Parking It prohibits parking of a vehicle in a designated area.
Speed Limit Speed Limit Whatever number the sign carries, the driver should limit his speed accordingly.
Compulsory Turn Left Compulsory Turn Left Due to a diversion, this sign is placed. One has to turn left after watching it.
Compulsory Ahead Compulsory Ahead The sign indicates that one should go in straight direction.
Compulsory Right Turn Compulsory Right Turn There is a particular reason for why this sign is installed so the driver should obey and move in right direction for a safety perspective.
Compulsory Ahead or Turn Right Compulsory Ahead or Turn Right This sign gives an indication to either go straight or turn right.
Compulsory Ahead or Turn Left Compulsory Ahead or Turn Left This sign gives an indication to either go straight or turn left.
Compulsory-Sound-Horn Compulsory Sound Horn This sign indicates that must blow the horn. Normally, this sign will be seen at the highway’s where you do not have any idea about the oncoming traffic.

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Cautionary Signs

Cautionary signs are used to give a warning to the road persons of the coming hazardous conditions on the way or beside the roadway. With the help of those symbols the motorcyclists can be careful and can mould the situation accordingly, whatever comes ahead. Below is the description of these signs.

Traffic Signs Name Their Meanings
Right Hand Curve Right Hand Curve It notifies about a right hand curve on the way forward.
Left Hair Pin Band Left Hand Curve It notifies about a left hand curve on the way forward.
Right Hair Pin Band Right Hair Pin Band One can find this sign board on hilly roads where there are sharp turns. When there’s a sharp right turn ahead, it will caution you to move right.
Left Hair Pin Band Left Hair Pin Band  This sign will warn you about a sharp left turn ahead. These are very much essential at hilly roads.
Right Reverse Band Right Reverse Band This Z-shaped sign indicates the same Z-shaped formation of the road ahead towards the right. This cautions the driver the reduce the speed.
Left Reverse Band Left Reverse Band This Z-shaped sign indicates the same Z-shaped formation of the road ahead towards the left. This cautions the driver the reduce the speed.
Steep Ascent Steep Ascent These signs are usually found at the hilly areas where there’s a steep upward slope
Steep Descent Steep Descent The sign is found at hilly roads where there’s a Steep downward slope.
Narrow Road Ahead Narrow Road Ahead The sign indicates about the narrowness of the road ahead so that the driver can reduce the speed.
Road Widens Ahead Road Widens Ahead The sign conveys about the widening of the road ahead so that the traffic could be adjusted accordingly.
Narrow Bridge Narrow Bridge This sign board is erected before there’s a narrow bridge ahead.
Slippery Road Slippery Road The sign says about the slippery road ahead due to any leakage of water or oil spill etc.
Loose Gravel Loose Gravel  This sign is usually placed on the hilly paths where there’s a possibility of loose earth or gravel keeps on falling.
Cycle Crossing Cycle Crossing There is cycle path crossing the major road, the sign will warn the driver about that.
Pedestrian Crossing Pedestrian Crossing Pedestrians are the ones to be served first than the rest of the traffic. When this is erected, that means the driver should either reduce the speed or stop the vehicle and let the pedestrian cross the road first.
School Ahead School Ahead This sign indicates about a school ahead.
Men at Work Men at Work This shows some kind of labour work or repair is going on ahead the road.
Cattle Cattle Possibilities are there that a cattle may be straying on the road.
Falling Rocks Falling Rocks The sign cautions about the falling of rocks ahead due to landslides in extreme climates.
Cross Road Cross Road This sign tells the crossing of two roads ahead.
Gap In Median Gap In Median The sign suggests that a provision of U-turn is there ahead.
Side Road Right Side Road Right The sign indicates of a right side turn along with a straight way ahead.
Side Road Left Side Road Left The sign indicates of a left side turn along with a straight way ahead.
Y-intersection Y-intersection There is a Y-shaped formation ahead. It depicts the actual formation of the road.
Staggered Intersection Staggered Intersection This sign placed where there are left and right turns are available on the straight road having a tiny distance between them.
T-Intersection T-Intersection The signs notifies that there’s a T intersection on the road ahead and from where you can not go forward.
Major Road Ahead Major Road Ahead This sign is placed where there is going to be a major cross over road ahead.
Round About Round About This sign can be used as a substitute of a road crossing.
Dangerous Dip Dangerous Dip It shows there is a dip ahead on the road.
Hump or Rough Road Hump or Rough Road A hump on the road is created so that the driver should slow down the speed. The sign indicates the same.
UNGuarded Level Crossing Unguarded Level Crossing The sign indicates that there is a railway crossing ahead. The type unguarded depicts that the driver should cross the road on his own risk when there is no train coming.
Guarded Level Crossing Guarded Level Crossing This sign indicates that a railway crossing ahead is guarded by a person.

Informatory Signs

These are the signs, which will provide the road users a guided information. For example, information about the routes, destination, how much remaining distance is there, historical and geographical locations. Informatory signs are the ones that will make your safari more pleasant, safe and easier. They usually get a broad sky-blue border, holding the signs in between that are of black color. Check out their meanings.

Traffic Signs Name Their Meanings
Public Telephone Public Telephone The sign indicates that one can avail a telephone service ahead.
Petrol Pump Petrol Pump This sign clearly indicates the availability of a Petrol Pump in the way ahead.
Hospital Hospital This sign shows an availability of a nearby hospital ahead.
First Aid Post First Aid Post This informatory sign will indicate you about the first aid facility available ahead.
Eating Place Eating Place This sign will be usually seen on the highways indicating any food facility ahead.
Light Refreshment Light Refreshment This sign will notify about the availability of any light refreshment on road.
No Thorough Road No Thorough Road This sign is placed from where you can’t take an exit.
No-Thorough-Side-Road No Thorough Side Road This sign is erected when there is no through side road on the main road.
Park This Side Park This Side This sign indicates the location where you can park the vehicle.
Parking Scooters and Motorcycles Parking Scooters and Motorcycles One can park his scooter or motorcycle at the destination where this sign is placed.
Parking Lot Cycles Parking Lot Cycles This Informatory sign indicates that the parking is meant only for cycles.
Parking Lot Cars Parking Lot Cars This Informatory sign indicates that the parking is meant only for cars.
Resting place Resting place Whenever there’s a motel or a lodge, which is nearby, you will find this sign on the road.