Road traffic signs serve several purposes: some road signs are placed on roads to point out directions to motorists; some are placed there to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians; some are there to give us an idea of what to expect ahead of us, etc.
Technically, road signs are traffic languages. They communicate specific messages to motorists and pedestrians.
Every motorists – and in some cases, pedestrians – are expected to have an understanding of what these signs represents.
It is because of this that the teaching of road traffic signs and their meanings are an essential topic taught at driving schools. Unfortunately, most motorists in Nigeria did not pass through formal driving schools.
Road signs are typically represented as symbols or annotations. In Nigeria, there is an enormous lack of understanding of what these symbols used in road signs represent. And as such, it is very common in Nigeria for the authorities in charge of producing road signs to produce road signs with symbols together with their meanings spelt out on them.
Anyway, Autojosh presents an explanation of 15 common road signs that most Nigerian motorists do not know their meanings.
1. PED Xing
This sign is one of the most confusing road signs that motorists come across in Nigeria. However, it is better understood when represented in its pictorial form. It actually means, “Pedestrian crossing”. This sign is often placed ahead of or near zebra crossings.
No Entry/ Do Not Enter
This signs is used to indicate that there is no entry for vehicular traffic. It is placed at the exit of some roads to inform motorist that they cannot drive into that road. It is often used at intersections to roads with one-way traffic.
A ‘No Stopping’ sign instructs motorists to keep moving and must not stop at any time, not for a minute, not for a second, not for a jiffy, on the road or in an area to which the ‘No Stopping’ sign applies.
Just like the “No Stopping” sign, this sign is placed along roads or streets to instruct drivers to keep driving or keep their vehicles in motion and not to stop. The difference is that, this signs allows a motorist to stop – to drop off or pick up a passenger, etc. Staying longer than necessary can be viewed as “waiting” or violation of the No Waiting instruction.
Turn On Red
This sign is placed at intersections where there are traffic lights. This sign generally permits vehicles to make a right turn even when the traffic light is on red. In other words, this sign gives permission to vehicles to turn into the next junction on the right nearer to them, even when the traffic light is showing a red signal and without having to wait for a green signal.
Sharp Deviation of Route or “Chevron” Sign
The chevron sign is positioned to warn motorists of a suden change in traffic direction. That is, they are positioned at places where traffic makes a sudden change in its course or direction , such as bends in the road or at round about. The chevron pattern pointing in the direction that traffic has to turn.
This sign is typically placed on two-way roads that are too narrow or are too risky for vehicles to attempt to overtake vehicles ahead of them. They are also placed at bends, dips in the road or where there are trees.
Lane Merge Left
This signs warns motorist that the lane that they are on narrows as they drive ahead. And such narrow end merges with a parallel lane to the left.
Lane Merge Right
This signs warns motorist that the lane that they are on narrows as the y drive ahead or as it ends. And such narrow end merges with a parallel lane to the right.
Narrow Bridge Ahead
This sign is placed ahead of a location where there is a narrow bridge. This sign is intended to get motorists to reduce their speed and drive cautiously as they approach the bridge.
This sign instructs motorists to keep to the right side of a two-way road. Driving into the left side of the road is a violation of this traffic instruction.
This sign instructs motorists to keep to the left side of a two-way road. Driving into the right side of the road is a violation of this traffic instruction.
Dangerous Turn Right
This signs warns motorists that the road ahead is about to turn sharply in the direction of the arrow, in this case, to the right.
Dangerous Turn Left
This signs warns motorists that the road ahead is about to turn sharply in the direction of the arrow, in this case, to the left.
Pass Either Way
The sign informs motorists that they can pass either side of a diving road to reach the same destination or different directions.
Off Side Rule; Do Not Enter
This sign is usually placed at intersections where there is a traffic light. It warns motorists that have been halted by the traffic light not to drive into a pattern of lines drawn on the ground ahead of the traffic light. This philosophy was borrowed from the “offside” rule in Soccer.
Narrows Road Ahead
This sign informs motorists that as they drive on the road, the road narrows ahead of them
This sign is used to warn motorists that there is a bump ahead or an uneven road surface on the road. This warning is intended to get motorists to reduce their speeds at certain points.