Theory Thursday – Negative Instruction Signs

Various negative instruction signs

Previously we looked at signs which give a positive instruction (they tell you what you must do) so today we are looking at negative instruction signs. Just like the positive instruction signs, negative instruction signs are also in circles (this shows they are an order) with a red border.

Negative instruction signs tell you what you must not do or who is not permitted along a particular route.

In today’s selection two of the signs tell us that cyclists are not permitted and another tells us motor vehicles are not allowed and that includes motorcyclists!

Speed limits are also displayed in a circular sign with a red border – this is the maximum legal speed that can be travelled along the route.

Other signs you might see are signs to say that vehicles of a particular height or width cannot use the route, this can be for a variety of reasons such as narrowings in the road or a low bridge.

Some signs give the opposite message to the positive instruction signs, for example you could come to a T-Junction and there is a ‘Go Left’ sign (positive instruction, circular with a blue background and white arrow pointing left) but instead there is a ‘No right turn’ sign like that pictured above.

Negative instruction signs can also show where stopping and waiting are not permitted, they might be accompanied by road markings too.

That’s it again for another week, below are some useful links:
General information on road signs from The Highway Code
Know Your Traffic Signs (PDF)

About the author

Kevin Dyas

Since qualifying in 2008, I am a fully qualified DVSA Approved Driving Instructor and Fleet Driver Trainer. I am a holder of the RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Driving Instruction and have passed the Institute of Advanced Motorists' Advanced Driving Test. I work full time in driver training delivering courses to learner drivers and classroom based workshop and in-car training sessions with fleet drivers.