Fun Facts: Traffic Signs Around The World

Since the invention of cars, civilizations have strived to create rules and regulations to ensure the safety of every person traveling by vehicle.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

As time went on, one of the primary methods of helping people stay safe on roadways became traffic signs. Once the concept was born, more and more types of signs came into existence. Some of these signs are universal all over the world, at least to some extent, but many others are regional. There are many different types of traffic signs throughout the world. Even the signs that are universal have regional variances. This can include color differences, shape differences, and of course language differences.  It is vital that drivers be able to read traffic signs easily. This means that the signs need to be bright, easy to see colors and the text needs to be large enough to see and read easily. Different countries tend to favor different color schemes. For example, in America, most traffic signs are either yellow or green. Even this can vary a bit from state to state and region to region. If you travel much, you have likely seen several different colors on common traffic signs. Also, consider shape. Traffic signs can be square, triangle, rectangle, octagon, and a few other variations. Generally, certain types of signs will always be the same shape in a given country, occasionally across the world. If you are interested in learning more about traffic signs around the world, you have come to the right place.

Before delving into the many different variations of traffic signs around the world, take a moment to learn about where to purchase signs. There are many different reasons you may need to purchase signs. A primary example is working for a city and a sign within the city either needs to be installed or replaced. Regardless of why you need to be able to quickly get the sign you need. There are several places to purchase custom signs, all you have to do is choose the best one for you and your needs. One of your best options is to order online from Signazon. This company provides plenty of options and excellent service. If you are interested in looking for more options before committing to one, all you have to do is utilize your preferred search engine. From there, all you need is the appropriate keywords to find what you need.

Now that you know where to purchase any signs that you may need, it is time to take a closer look at the different traffic signs around the world. The first type up for discussion is a stop sign. Where ever in the world you live, you will be used to the stop signs there, but there are several different varieties. If you reside in the United States, you associate a stop sign with a bright red octagon with the word “stop” emblazoned in white. In other parts of the world, a stop sign can be several different shapes. One of the most unique stop signs is found in Japan. This version of a stop sign is an inverted triangle. This is the only traffic sign know to have this specific shape. Another incredibly unique stop sign is found in Nepal. This sign is a red octagon like in the United States, but, unlike any other variation, it has no words or symbols on it. The Nepal stop sign is completely blank, nothing more than a red background. Some stop signs do not have the word “stop” on them, instead, they have some sort of symbol. One of the more common symbols to see is a hand indicating to stop. Once, it was possible to see stop signs that were blue or yellow, but now you will only find red or red and white.

The next type of sign up for discussion is crossing signs. There are different types of crossing signs to consider. The first is a pedestrian crossing sign. This is a sign you will see at crosswalks and other areas where people cross the road. These signs are generally quite similar in appearance but do differ somewhat around the world. Most of these signs are a triangle in shape, but you will occasionally see a circle or square. They are generally yellow or white, but may also be orange. Almost all pedestrian crossing signs depict a person walking, generally a male or a non-descript figure. There are a few that are unique such as Laos which clearly depicts a female walking and Australia which shows a disembodied pair of legs. The other type is animal crossing signs. These signs are meant to warn drivers that a particular type of animal frequently crosses the road in this area. Different parts of the world have different types of animals so this type of sign will be a bit different depending on where you are. For example, you will only find a kangaroo crossing sign. In Africa, you are likely to see a sign to warn of camels crossing. In Japan, you will see crap crossing signs. The list goes on.

Now, consider what certain colors and shapes mean. While shapes change in different parts of the world, generalized colors are fairly universal. Take the color yellow which is used as a general warning. Any time you see the color yellow on a street sign, expect some type of warning. The color green is reserved for directional signs, information signs, and guide signs. If you see a green street sign, you can expect to receive some form of information. Orange is generally reserved for signs warning of construction work. Blue marks areas specified for handicapped individuals and service guides. White and black are used for regulatory signs such as speed limits, though you may see white on many signs as it is used as a contrast for many other colors. Red always means “stop”, “wrong way”, or “do not enter”. As for shapes, rectangles are used for regulatory (vertical) and guide (horizontal) signs. An octagon is always indicative of stop. A diamond shape is used for warnings. Circles are generally reserved for railroad signs, specifically crossings, and emergency evacuation routes.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Returning to Work During COVID-19

by Aunard de la Rocha

Improving Your Health by Controlling Your Environment

by Kari Oakely

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.