Traffic Signs Manual chapter 4 (2013) Warning Signs


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Traffic Signs Manual chapter 2013 Warning 2013
Traffic Signs Manual CHAPTER 4 Warning Signs 2013 Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 4 Warning Signs Department for Transport Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland) Scottish Government Welsh Government London: TSO Traffic Signs Manual 2013 Contents of Chapters 1-8 CHAPTER 1 Introduction CHAPTER 2 Informatory Signs * CHAPTER 3 Regulatory Signs CHAPTER 4 Warning Signs CHAPTER 5 Road Markings CHAPTER 6 Illumination of Traffic Signs * CHAPTER 7 The Design of Traffic Signs CHAPTER 8 Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations * To be published Published with the permission of the Department for Transport on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. ? Crown copyright 2004 and 2013 Copyright in the typographical arrangement rests with the Crown. You may re-use this document/publication (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit http://www.nationalarchives. or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU; or email: [email protected] ISBN 9780115532245 First published 1980 Fourth edition 2013 Printed in the United Kingdom, for TSO, using material containing 100% post-consumer fibres, FSC? Recycled certified and PCF (Process Chlorine Free) J2669080 C5 07/133 Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 4 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 4 2. JUNCTIONS 10 3. DEVIATION OF ROUTE 14 4. ROAD NARROWS 19 5. TWO-WAY TRAFFIC AND DUAL CARRIAGEWAY ROADS 22 6. HILLS 27 7. BRIDGES AND OTHER STRUCTURES 29 8. TRAFFIC SIGNALS 41 9. PEDESTRIANS 43 10. ANIMALS AND FARM TRAFFIC 46 11. WA TER 50 12. ROAD SURFACE 52 13. ROAD HUMPS 54 14. LOW-FL YING AIRCRAFT 56 15. FALLING OR FALLEN ROCKS 57 16. HAZARD MARKERS 58 17. OTHER DANGER 59 18. DIST ANCE PLA TES 60 19. MISCELLANEOUS HAZARDS 61 20. SLOW-MOVING VEHICLES 62 21. LEVEL CROSSINGS 64 22. CYCLING 71 23. REFUGE BEACON 72 APPENDIX A: Sizes of warning signs and siting details 73 APPENDIX B: Sizes of supplementary plates 76 APPENDIX C: Variation of numerals 79 APPENDIX D: Schedule of diagram numbers 82 INDEX 854 1 INTRODUCTION GENERAL 1.1 The Traffic Signs Manual is intended to give advice to traffic authorities and their agents on the correct use of signs and road markings. Mandatory requirements are set out in the current version of the T raffic Signs Regulations and General Directions; nothing in the manual can override these. The advice is given to assist authorities in the discharge of their duties under section 122 of the Road T raffic Regulation Act 1984, but it is for traffic authorities to determine what signing they consider necessary to meet those duties. 1.2 The Traffic Signs Manual is applicable in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. References to “the Secr etary of State“ should therefore be interpreted as referring to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland), the Scottish Government or the Welsh Government as appropriate. 1.3 Any reference to a “Chapter” is a reference to a Chapter of the T raffic Signs Manual, and any reference to a “section”, unless otherwise stated, is a r eference to a section in this chapter of the Manual. Where more detailed background information might be helpful, r eference is made to Standards and Advice Notes in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, available from TSO or 1.4 Any reference to “the Regulations” or “the Directions” is a reference to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 applicable to England, Scotland and Wales. Reference to a diagram number or to a Schedule is a reference to a diagram or schedule in those Regulations. In Northern Ireland the relevant legislation is the Traffic Signs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997. Diagram and regulation numbering occasionally differs in the Northern Ireland Regulations; this is noted in the text where appropriate. Not all signs referred to in the text are included in the latter Regulations. References to directions are not applicable in Northern Ireland; where these are mentioned, advice should be sought from the Department for Regional Development's Roads Service Headquarters. 1.5 All traffic signs (including road markings) placed on a highway or road to which the public has access must be either prescribed by Regulations or authorised by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland), the Scottish Government or the Welsh Government as appropriate. Care should be taken to ensure that no non-prescribed sign is used unless it has been authorised in writing. Failure to do so may leave an authority open to litigation. Except in the case of certain signs to indicate temporary obstructions or placed by the police in an emergency, signs may be placed only by or with the permission of the traffic authority. USE OF WARNING SIGNS 1.6 Warning signs are used to alert drivers to potential danger ahead. They indicate a need for special caution by road users and may require a reduction in speed or some other manoeuvre. 1.7 Appropriate warning signs can greatly assist road safety . To be most effective, however, they should be used sparingly. Their frequent use to warn of conditions which ar e readily apparent tends to bring them into disr epute and detracts from their effectiveness. Unjustified signing should not be used at individual locations simply in r esponse to complaints from the public. Care should be taken to ensure that a route is treated consistently, especially where it crosses the boundary between two traffic authorities. 1.8 Precise dimensions for all diagrams are indicated in the “P” series of working drawings available at These also illustrate the permitted variants of symbols and show the correct layout of supplementary plates not illustrated in the Regulations. The “S” series of working drawings pr ovides details of the more complex symbols and pictograms. 1.9 Certain warning signs may be incorporated into directional signs; for further details see Chapter 7. 1.10 Detailed guidance on the use of warning signs at road works is given in Chapter 8. 1.11 To prevent the proliferation of obsolete signs, and unnecessary visual intrusion, direction 37 limits to a maximum of three months the period for which the signs to diagram 790 “NEW LEVEL CROSSING CONTROL AHEAD” and diagram 7014 “NEW ROUNDABOUT AHEAD”, and their variants, may be displayed. See also para 1.43 and section 7. 5 INTRODUCTION VEHICLE-ACTIVATED SIGNS 1.12 Regulation 58(7) permits certain warning signs (diagrams 504.1, 505.1, 506.1, 507.1, 510, 512, 512.1, 512.2 and 513) when displayed by means of light-emitting characters or symbols also to display below the sign, and at the same time, the legend “SLOW DOWN” in characters not less than one quarter of the height of the triangle. The signs will be triggered by vehicles exceeding a pre-determined safe speed on the approach to a junction or bend. They should be used only to supplement fixed signing, and not as a substitute for it. Vehicle-activated signs should not be considered until the fixed signing and road markings have been checked to ensure that they comply fully with the guidance in this chapter and in Chapter 5 in terms of correct size, siting, visibility and condition. SIGN SIZES 1.13 Warning signs are normally prescribed in five sizes. The normal minimum size is indicated in the diagrams, with alternative sizes in brackets. All sizes are in millimetres unless stated otherwise. Signs need to be of a size appropriate to the prevailing traffic speed on the road on which they are used. On roads with a 30 mph speed limit, the smallest prescribed size of warning triangle (normally 600 mm) is usually adequate. On roads where speeds are higher, signs need to be larger. This enables them to be detected at a greater distance and ensures that drivers have sufficient time to recognise and assimilate the warning and take any necessary action before the hazard is met. The largest signs are for use on motorways or high-speed roads. Warning signs which are not appropriate for such roads are not generally prescribed in the largest (1500 mm) size. Appendix A details the appropriate size of sign for various speed ranges, based on the 85th percentile approach speed. 1.14 Where special amenity considerations apply, or there are physical constraints on the width of sign that can be accommodated, the next smaller size can be substituted. It should however be borne in mind that smaller signs are likely to be seen later, and do not become legible until drivers are closer to them, giving less time to react. 1.15 If the accident record suggests that drivers are failing to notice the warning, or seeing it too late to take the necessary action, the next larger size can be used. Conspicuity can also be increased by the use of yellow backing boards (see paras 1.32 to 1.34). 1.16 Many warning signs are accompanied by supplementary plates. Appendix B recommends appropriate x-heights to match the size of the plates to the size of the triangle they are used with, and to ensure adequate legibility. There are restrictions on which plates may be used with individual signs; the plates prescribed for use with each sign are indicated below each diagram illustrated in this chapter. Detailed drawings showing the correct layouts for all permitted variants have been produced by the Department for Transport (see para 1.8). 1.17 A special sign (diagram 7014) is prescribed to warn drivers of a permanent change in the road layout ahead (see also para 1.11). Several variants are prescribed, e.g. “GAP CLOSED AHEAD”, “NEW TRAFFIC SIGNALS AHEAD” and “NEW ZEBRA CROSSING AHEAD”. The x-height of the sign may vary between 50 and 200 mm (i.e. the capital letter height varies between 70 and 280 mm). The appropriate x-height at a specific site will depend upon the speed of traffic, with the 50 mm x-height suitable for speeds up to 30 mph and 150 or 200 mm for 70 mph. Intermediate sizes should be used for speeds between these extremes. 1.18 The Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations and General Directions 2011 prescribe a new sign (diagram 7014.1) to be used in the event of either a temporary or permanent reduction in headroom at a bridge. This sign previously required authorisation. The x-height may be between 50 mm and 200 mm, with the same selection criteria as for diagram 7014 (see para 1.17). 1.19 The minimum x-height of the “ANIMAL DISEASE“ sign, diagram 574, is determined in a similar manner to diagram 7014 as described in para 1.17, except that the minimum size is 40 mm. This size may be used on narrow rural roads where speeds are low and space is restricted. SITING 1.20 In general, the greater the speed of approach, the further in advance of the hazard the sign needs to be placed. This is to ensure that drivers have the necessary time to respond to the warning. Appendix A sets out recommendations for the distance from the hazard at which a sign should be sited. If it is impracticable to place a sign within about 10% of the recommended distance, it should be sited further upstream of the hazard at the 6 INTRODUCTION nearest practicable point. It may be appropriate to supplement it with a distance plate to diagram 572 (see section 18). A sign should not normally be sited more than 10% closer than the recommended distance, as this would be unlikely to provide sufficient warning. Where this is unavoidable, a distance plate should always be used, indicating the distance to the hazard to the nearest 10 yards. 1.21 Warning signs should normally be placed on the left hand side of the road, unless stated otherwise in the text (e.g. hazard markers to diagrams 560 and 561). However, site conditions sometimes make this impracticable. A warning sign might be placed on the right hand side on a left hand bend if it would otherwise be hidden from view, or if there would be no room for it on the left. If a sign is placed on the right hand side of the road, care must be taken to ensure that a driver would not be misled at night or in fog as to which side to pass. It will sometimes be appropriate to duplicate warning signs by providing them on each side of the road, as is recommended at the end of a dual carriageway, or on the approach to a roundabout on a high-speed road. 1.22 It is essential that drivers have an unobstructed view of traffic signs. The distance which should be kept clear of obstructions to the sight line, whether caused by foliage, other signs or street furniture is known as the clear visibility distance. The higher the prevailing traffic speeds, the greater this distance needs to be. It is important therefore that sight lines are properly maintained so that the intended warning is not compromised. Care in siting can minimise future problems of obscuration. Sight lines should not cross private land as it will be difficult to control the growth of vegetation or the placement of other obstructions. It is equally important that warning signs should not be placed where they will obstruct the view of other signs. e.g. advance direction signs. Such problems might be avoided by siting the sign further from the hazard, or on the right hand side of the road. 1.23 Appendix A specifies minimum clear visibility distances. These should normally be measured from the centre of the most disadvantaged driving lane. It is important that the full recommended sight line to the whole of the sign face is preserved. Trimming of foliage only in the immediate vicinity of the sign may not be sufficient; sign visibility should always be checked from the appropriate viewing distance. MOUNTING 1.24 The normal mounting height measured to the lower edge of a warning sign is between 900 mm and 1500 mm above the carriageway alongside. The greater height should be used where road spray is likely to soil the sign. Where signs are erected above footways, or in areas likely or intended to be used by pedestrians (e.g. pedestrian refuges), a minimum headroom of 2300 mm is recommended, with 2100 mm as an absolute minimum. A clearance of 2300 mm should be maintained over a cycle track or shared cycleway/footway. When supplementary plates are used, the height should be measured to the bottom of the plate. 1.25 Plates should be separated from the sign or another plate by a vertical space not exceeding the x-height of the lettering. 1.26 Except where they support a luminaire, posts should never project above the top of the sign. This practice is unsightly, and needlessly increases visual intrusion and clutter. MOUNTING MORE THAN ONE SIGN ON A POST 1.27 Research has shown that the greater the number of signs which drivers are presented with simultaneously, the greater the difficulty they are likely to have in assimilating the informat
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