Knowing your K53 road and traffic sign rules is an important part of maintaining road safety for yourself, as well as for other drivers.
The aim of road traffic signs is to regulate road traffic. This includes ensuring road traffic safety and seamless traffic flow. Road and traffic signs are placed at the sides of roads, as a reference for motor vehicle drivers.
Due to advancements in South Africa’s transportation systems, pictorial signs – rather than word signs – are used to simplify signs to facilitate international travel, due to differences in languages creating linguistic barriers. In this way, pictorial road and traffic signs have and are therefore slowing down international driving risks
South Africa’s road and traffic sign rules may seem like a lot to learn, but the best way to do so is dig back into your K53 learners license test and go through what you have forgotten. Another easy way to jog your K53 memory, is by keeping a lookout for road-side traffic signs and practice matching the rule to the pictorial sign. You most likely know a lot of the rules already. All you need to do is play a little bit of ‘I spy’.
The below rules are K53-compliant, according to South African K53 road and traffic sign rules.
Road traffic signs are divided into six essential sign categories:
1. Regulatory signs
Regulatory signs adjust and control road users’ actions. Road users are therefore either forced to or prohibited from performing particular road actions. Regulatory signs are generally round-shaped, but may sometimes take the shape of an octagon, triangular ‘yield sign’ and diamond ‘pedestrian priority sign’.
2. Warning signs
Warning signs are used to keep road users attentive to dangerous road conditions. Warning signs are generally triangular-shaped.
3. Guidance signs
The purpose of guidance signs is to direct road users, therefore helping them find their way. The general shape for guidance signs are rectangular.
4. Information signs
Information signs are aimed at enlightening road users with relevant information. Information signs generally takes a small rectangular shape.
5. Road markings
Road markings are used to warn, control and regulate road users. This is done by specifying directions, traffic lane limits and carriageways. Road markings are indicated as paint markings road surfaces.
6. Traffic signals
Traffic signals are used to control pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic. Traffic signals are indicated by traffic lights, unless it is not working. In this case, road users will have to use the road as a four-way stop or traffic control officers use hand gestures as traffic signals, to regulate traffic.
But anything can change or happen. This may be a road closure, car accident, road construction, etc. In this case, temporary signs are placed by the road hinderance, until the road traffic problem has been solved.
Temporary signs possess a yellow background. It is used when roads have encountered an unusual circumstance. More specifically, temporary signs are used as an indication of change in the normal standards of the road. Therefore, normal road signs will no longer be applicable until the temporary road signs have been removed. It is important that road users retain alertness, especially during the period of the provided temporary circumstance. Circumstances under which temporary signs may be used include:
- Road construction, works, maintenance and other building.
- Temporary traffic control or accommodation, such as scholar patrols and on school premises.
Motor vehicle collisions.
Apart from following the general K53 road and traffic sign rules, it is important to apply the System of Vehicle Control in any road traffic action. This is a sequential defensive driving process, as illustrated in the driving licence guide.
Assimilate yourself and become up-to-speed South Africa’s K53 road and traffic sign rules, in order to retain the relevant knowledge and skill needed to become a competent driver.
The above information, as retrieved from K53 Learners Made Easy, is simply a guide and does not change any laws, rules and regulations, as stipulated in the South African National Road Traffic Act, National Road Traffic Regulations, or The Official K53 Learner’s and Driver’s Manual.
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