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Traffic signs

There are four kinds of traffic sign in general use. The shape and colour of the particular sign will help you recognise whether it is a regulatory, guide or warning sign, or a hazard marker. More information is provided in the Introduction to traffic signs and their function. 

Regulatory signs

You must obey the instructions shown on a regulatory sign. The Queensland Road Rules contains a full explanation of the rules associated with these types of signs.

Regulatory signs come in four different shapes and colour combinations as follows:

ShapeDescription
An image of a octagon road sign shape. The octagon (eight sides) is used only for a STOP sign and has a red background with white letters.
An image of an equal sided triangle road sign shape. The equal sided triangle (with one point downwards) is used only for a GIVE WAY sign and has a red and white background with black letters.
An image of a circle road sign shape. The circle is used for pedestrian safety, hand-held STOP banners and on railway crossing gates. When used for pedestrian safety it has a yellow background with a black symbol. All other times it has a red background and white letters.
An image of a long verticle rectangle road sign shape. The long vertical rectangle is used for other regulatory signs that don't have their own special shape. These signs have a white background with black letters or symbols.

SPEED LIMITED AREA signs

An image of a speed limited area road sign.These signs are used to indicate an area where a lower speed limit applies. A speed limited area is usually a network of local roads with signs positioned at every entrance and exit to and from the area.

The speed limit applies to all roads in the area, even if there are no repeater signs on individual roads.

Section 22 of the Queensland Road Rules applies.


NO BUS signs

An image of a no bus road sign.A driver of a bus must not drive past a NO BUS SIGN.

Section 106 of the Queensland Road Rules applies.


NO OVERTAKING OR PASSING signs

An image of a no overtaking or passing road sign.Overtaking or passing is prohibited along a stretch of road from a NO OVERTAKING OR PASSING sign to:

  • the end of the bridge, if the sign applies to a bridge
  • for a distance past the sign that is indicated on or with the sign.

'Passing' means driving past vehicles travelling in the opposite direction.

Section 93 of the Queensland Road Rules applies.


TRANSIT LANE signs

An image of a transit lane road sign.These signs show where a transit lane begins and ends. A T3 TRANSIT LANE sign prohibits vehicles other than motorbikes, bicycles, public transport and vehicles with three or more occupants, from using the lane.

A T2 TRANSIT LANE sign means vehicles with two or more occupants are allowed to use the lane.

Section 156 of the Queensland Road Rules applies.


Hazard markers

Hazard markers are used to warn you when driving or riding a vehicle that the road ahead has a significant change in the direction of travel, as well as notifying you of the presence and width of an obstruction on or beside the road.

Hazard markers come in two different shapes each with a black background and either white downward sloping stripes or chevrons pointing left or right. The signs come in the following shapes:

ShapeDescription
An image of a long horizontal rectangle road sign shape. The long horizontal rectangle.
An image of a long vertical rectangle road sign shape. The long vertical rectangle.

Warning signs

Warning signs give important information about permanent or temporary traffic hazards. These signs warn or guide you through and around temporary hazardous conditions.

Warning signs come in three shapes and colour combinations:

ShapeDescription
An image of a diamond road sign shape. The diamond (four sides the same length with one point downward) has a yellow background with black letters or symbols.
An image of a diagonal cross road sign shape. The diagonal cross is used only to point out railway level crossings and a white background with black letters.
An image of a long horizontal rectangle road sign shape. The long horizontal rectangle has a yellow background with black letters or symbols.

Use the links below to view examples of permanent warning signs:

  1. Freeway signs
  2. Intersection and junction signs
  3. Modified intersection signs
  4. Pedestrians, bicycle and school signs
  5. Railway level crossing signs
  6. Road alignment signs
  7. Road obstacle signs
  8. Road width, low and narrow clearance signs
  9. Advance warning signs of other traffic control devices
  10. Signs about temporary hazards

Guide signs

Guide signs give you information about distances, destinations, routes and locations of services — and other traffic information.

Guide signs generally have a green, brown, or blue background with white lettering and symbols in the following shapes:

ShapeDescription
An image of a long vertical rectangle road sign shape. The long vertical rectangle.
An image of a square road sign shape. The square.
An image of a long horizontal rectangle road sign shape. The long horizontal rectangle.
Some examples of guide signs are provided in the Guide to Guide Signs.

Road rules are developed for your safety. Failure to comply is dangerous and may result in a fine — or worse.

Last updated
01 June 2010