Road Signs with Text and a Red Border

Being a primary colour, red objects often catch people’s attention and the colour red can often have connotations of authority, anger and danger.

Red Equals Danger

Several studies have been carried out to why we have such strong feelings on the colour red but nothing has been proven yet. No matter what the scientific reasoning is behind the meaning of the colour red, it attracts motorist’s attention and has been in use to warn wary travellers of the dangers that are ahead on the road network.

Red is Commonly Used as a Border on Signs

When used as a border on a circular sign in the UK the colour red signifies that you must not do anything but if the colour red is a border on a triangular sign then there could be danger ahead for motorists, you are being warned that extra care is needed in the vicinity of the sign.

Regulatory Signs

Most regulatory signs have a red border and in the shape of a circle. Two notable exceptions are the "Stop" sign and the "Give Way" sign as they are both warnings and regulatory. A "Stop" sign can be seen on many roads in the UK, it means that you must stop at the junction, looking in all direction and then you can move on when you have ensured that the road ahead is clear. If you do not bring your vehicle to a complete halt at the stop line then you are violating a traffic law and you can be cautioned or fined for such an offence.

Give Way

A "Give Way" sign is slightly different as you must give way to the traffic on the major road but if the road is clear and you have ensured this by looking in all direction then you can cautiously move onto the road and continue your journey without having to bring your vehicle to a complete halt.

Other signs that can be commonly seen:

  • A red circle with text plate stating: "No Vehicles Except Pedal Cycles Being Pushed by Hand".
  • A red circle with a text plate can state; ‘No Vehicles 10 - 4pm Except for Access’. This means that no vehicle can enter this road between the specified times.
  • A red circle can also state: 'No articulated access'
  • A picture of a car with an orange glow coming from its means, that no vehicles carrying explosives are allowed in this area.
  • A picture of a lorry with 7.5T on it means that no good vehicles over the maximum gross weight shown on the sign can enter this road.
  • A picture of a lorry with 6’-6” on the sign, states that no vehicles over the width shown can get down this road. Vehicles larger than this width should not try as they may end up blocking the road and worse still, get jammed and cause traffic congestion.
  • A sign with 18T mgw and two text plates stating 'Weak Bridge' and 'Except empty vehicles' signifies that any vehicle over this gross weight should not enter this road. Only empty vehicles or those under the specified weight are exempt and can use this route.


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.