List of Indian Traffic Signs With Their Meanings

by Vivaan Khatri | 13/07/2020
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Knowing the meaning of the traffic sign is the basic knowledge that every driver should have. if you are new to the traffic sign system, read this to know all the traffic signs and their meanings in India.

Sign is a language using visual images to communicate specific meanings across without words or sounds. People can interpret the meanings of signs within seconds without paying too much attention. For this reason, signs are universally used in traffic as a way to communicate traffic rules, guides to the road-users. Being able to tell the meanings of the traffic signs is one of the key skills for all road-users, be it the driver or the pedestrian. Therefore, knowing the meaning of traffic signs is one of the criteria for your drivers to gain the license. In the following, IndianAuto will give you the full details of Indian traffic signs with their meanings.

What are the types of traffic signs in India

The traffic signs in India are categorized into three major groups, which are Regulatory signs, Warning signs and Informative signs.

  • Regulatory signs: Most signs under this category comes with the round shape. Some of them feature a red border inside with a black symbol and white background while some others can be depicted in blue circles with white symbol within. These regulatory or mandatory signs indicate rules that should be followed strictly. Otherwise, the driers will be punished and receive a challan for their violation. Not following these signs might affect the traffic flow and caused a serious accident.

  • Cautionary sign: The signs of this category usually are depicted with the red triangle border with smaller black graphic inside. These signs give warning to the road-users about the potential danger ahead, for example, turn and curve warning, lane transition warnings, pedestrian crossing warnings. Even though there is hardly any regulations or penalty attached to these signs, these signs have a crucial meaning to your safety. When seeing these warning sign, a driver should pay more close attention and prepare for the situation.

  • Informatory sign: While the other two types of signs have a particularly important meaning for the safety of the road-users, the third category includes signs that will give you information regarding the destinations, distance, fuel stations and other locations. Observing these signs will help you navigate through the complicate traffic system.

What are the meanings of shapes and colours in traffic signs in India?

Images are represented in shapes and colours. These are also two major factors that play a vital role in communicating the meaning of signs. Knowing the meanings of the colour and shape use will also help you to remember the meaning of the sign in a systematic and organized way. In some cases, the drivers might not see the images clearly due to the heavy fog or snow and drivers can only capture the shapes and the colour of the sign. So knowing the meaning of the colours can shapes will be very helpful.

stop sign

Sign Shapes

  • Round shapes: As mentioned above the round shapes are mostly used for the regulatory signs. When seeing signs of this shape, you have better pay attention and follow accordingly or else, you will receive fine for your violation.

  • Triangle shapes: Triangle shape mostly used for cautionary signs. Whenever you see a triangle sign, you should drive more carefully and pay close attention to the road ahead. However, there is one triangle sign that belongs to the regulatory sign groups. It is the “Give Way” sign with an upside-down triangle shape.

  • Octagon shape: This sign is used exclusively for the stop sign. Due to this exclusivity, you will hardly notice any other signs using this shape for other meanings.

  • Rectangular sign: Rectangular is used for informational signs. If you are navigating toward a specific destination, you should pay attention to those rectangular signs.

Sign colours:

  • Red: Red is usually associated with danger. The use of red in traffic sign usually indicates compulsory rules and possible dangers. When it comes to traffic light, it means that you have to stop. For traffic signs, the red colour can be used to indicate other meanings rather than stop. It is usually used for Regulatory and cautionary signs. Never skip a red traffic sign.

  • Yellow: Yellow is also one of the three colours used for traffic lights. However, in traffic sign, you will see less yellow than red or green. In most case, it suggests the vehicles to slow down or be more cautious.

  • Green: Green are usually used for informative signs which give you directions or guide to a particular destination. Mostly, green signs will give you the information regarding the distance toward a destination.

  • Blue: Blue colour with a rectangular shape is mostly used to indicate a destination nearby. The combination of blue colour and round shape are usually used for regulatory signs. In most case, these signs require you to take a turn.

List of Indian traffic signs with their meanings

1. Regulatory signs

Traffic Signs

Names

Meanings

stop

Stop

"Stop" sign requires the drivers to stop

give way

Give Way

"Give Way" sign reminds drivers to give way to right side drivers.

no entry

No Entry

"No Entry" sign indicates that there is a restricted area ahead

one way

One Way

"One Way" suggests that the vehicles must go in a single direction

vehicles prohibited in both directions

Vehicles Prohibited in Both Directions

"Vehicles Prohibited in Both Directions" sign suggests the area ahead is blocked from both the sides

right turn prohibited

Right Turn Prohibited

The sign directs the driver to not take the right turn

left turn prohibited

Left Turn Prohibited

The sign directs the driver to not take the left turn.

u turn prohibited

U-Turn Prohibited

The sign directs the driver to not take the right turn.

overtaking prohibited

Overtaking Prohibited

This sign indicates that overtaking is not allowed

horn prohibited

Horn Prohibited

This sign shows that driver should not horn and keep silence when driving through a particular area

no parking

No Parking

Parking in a designated area is not allowed.

speed limit

Speed Limit

The driver should not surpass the speed mentioned on the Speed Limit sign

compulsory turn left

Compulsory Turn Left

The sign indicates that one should turn left

compulsory ahead

Compulsory Ahead

The sign indicates that one should go in a straight direction

compulsory right turn

Compulsory Right Turn

The sign indicates that one should turn right

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 you must use the horn to alert the oncoming traffic

2. Cautionary signs

Traffic Signs

Name

Meanings

right hand curve

Right Hand Curve

It notifies about a right-hand curve on the way ahead.

left hand curve

Left Hand Curve

It notifies about a left-hand curve on the way ahead.

right hair pin band

Right Hair Pin Band

The sign is usually seen on hilly roads with sharp turns. It indicates there’s a sharp right turn ahead.

left hair pin band

Left Hair Pin Band

 This sign will warn you about a sharp left turn ahead.

right reverse band

Right Reverse Band

This sign indicates the same Z-shaped formation of the road ahead towards the right. When seeing this sign, the driver should reduce speed.

left reverse band

Left Reverse Band

This Z-shaped sign gives road-users a warning about the same Z-shaped formation of the road ahead towards the left. 

steep ascent

Steep Ascent

This sign gives you a warning about the steep upward slope

steep descent

Steep Descent

The sign is usually found at hilly roads with a steep downward slope.

arrow road ahead

Narrow Road Ahead

The sign indicates a narrow road ahead 

road widens ahead

Road Widens Ahead

The sign indicates the widening of the road ahead 

narrow bridge

Narrow Bridge

This sign indicates that there’s a narrow bridge ahead.

slippery road

Slippery Road

The sign gives road users warning about the slippery road ahead 

loose gravel

Loose Gravel

 This sign is usually seen on the hilly area 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

The sign indicates that there's a crossing for pedestrians. When seeing this sign, the driver should either slow down 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 indicates that there are people working or repairing on ahead the road.

cattle

Cattle

This sign indicates that there might be cattle straying on the road.

falling rocks

Falling Rocks

The sign gives warning about the falling of rocks ahead

cross road

Cross Road

This sign suggests that there is a crossing of two roads ahead

gap in median

Gap In Median

The sign suggests there is a provision of U-turn 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

The sign suggests that there is a Y-shaped formation ahead

staggered intersection

Staggered Intersection

This sign placed where there are left and right turns are closely located on the straight road 

t intersection

T-Intersection

The sign suggests that there’s a T intersection on the road ahead. It means that you can not drive straight ahead

major road ahead

Major Road Ahead

This sign notifies of a major crossroad ahead.

round about

Round About

This sign can be used as a substitute for a road crossing.

dangerous dip

Dangerous Dip

This sign suggests there is a dip ahead on the road.

hump or rough road

Hump or Rough Road

The sign suggests that there is a hump or rough road ahead

unguarded railway crossing

Unguarded Level Crossing

The sign indicates that there is a railway crossing ahead

guarded level crossing-

Guarded Level Crossing

This sign indicates that a railway crossing ahead is guarded by a person.

3. Informatory signs

Traffic Signs

Name

Their Meanings

public telephone

Public Telephone

The sign indicates that there is a telephone service ahead.

petrol pump

Petrol Pump

This sign suggests there is a petrol pump in the way ahead.

hospital

Hospital

This sign suggests there is a hospital ahead

first aid post

First Aid Post

This sign indicates the first aid facility ahead

eating place

Eating Place

This sign indicates a food facility ahead

light refreshment

Light Refreshment

This sign suggests there is a light refreshment ahead

no thorough road

No Thorough Road

This sign suggests there is no exit ahead

no thorough side road

No Thorough Side Road

This sign is placed when there is a no-through side road on the main road.

park this side

Park This Side

This sign suggests there is a place where you can park the vehicle.

Parking Scooters and Motorcycles

Parking Scooters and Motorcycles

This sign suggests there is parking space for scooters or motorcycles 

Parking Lot Cycles

Parking Lot Cycles

This sign suggests there is parking space for bicycles only

Parking Lot Cars

Parking Lot Cars

This sign indicates that the parking space is for cars only.

resting place

Resting place

This sign suggests there’s a motel or a lodge nearby

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