EVERY day, more and more people get on the road to drive vehicles from one location to another. However, driving is not the mere action of someone getting behind the wheel, starting the ignition and then being able to speed off.
The cardinal rule is that, in order for someone to be able to get on the road (that is a public domain), one must bear in mind the fact that, he or she is duty bound to observe certain measures that ensure the safety of that person and any other persons directly or indirectly in contact with that person. What am I trying to arrive at? It is simple, for all of us to be able to get on the same road and observe the safety of all; we are guided by a number of rules and regulations.
Talk of the rules and regulations; how does one or the other person know the rules and regulations pertaining to any given locality? If I come visiting in your home, I wouldn’t know where the family head parks his vehicle or where the visitors are expected to park! The simple thing or guide the owners of the home would do is put up a small sign saying “Visitors’ parking”. That way, any visitor would easily know how to manoeuvre around. In a broader perspective, if visitors came from all over the country, they would all be guided by just this same and simple sign.
Likewise, roads have been fitted with all sorts of signs intended at informing all the road users of the rules and regulations, dangers and hazards, recreational sites, locations, etc. Some of the signs may comprise of pictures, words or a combination of both. What is for sure is that, these signs have been standardized. In other words, they all give the same messages worldwide. Take an example of a stop sign. It will comprise of the word STOP written in white against a red Octagonal (8-sided) background! Likewise, the speed limit sign will have any given speed written in black against a white background like SPEED LIMIT 40KPH.
Road signs are in a number of categories, including regulatory signs, which tell us what to do and how to obey road rules (like speed limit, and are normally black wording on a white background); warning signs, which give us early warning about dangers on the road (these are normally yellow); works signs construction signs, which let us know when people are working on the road; guide signs, which help us know where we are, and how to get where we want to go (these are usually green in colour); and services signs (usually blue in colour), which help people to find things like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, etc.