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Road warning signs

Warning signs let you know that road changes are coming up on your drive. These can be permanent or temporary traffic hazards and obstacles.

Warning signs can warn you about:

  • merging lanes or added lanes
  • narrowing of the road
  • corners or changes in the direction of the road
  • highway and motorway entry and exits
  • crossings on the road for pedestrians, farm animals, or wildlife
  • roundabouts, stops, or giveways
  • changes to the road's surface or condition, for example, road humps, unsealed roads, rain, hail or ice, or falling rocks.

Change in the road direction ahead

These warning signs let you know the road is going to change direction. You should drive with caution within the speed limit and follow the conditions of the road.

Change in the road direction ahead signs can show you how the road you are on will:

  • curve, have a sharp turn, or wind for a distance
  • have an approaching intersection or change in traffic direction
  • have a steep descent, dip, crest or incline
  • narrow because of a bridge
  • have a lane merging or starting
  • have a recommended exiting speed due to the road direction.
Sign Meaning
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow with 2 rounded curves in the tail

Winding road sign

A number of closely spaced curves to the left and right are ahead.

The winding road can be up to 1km in length. A supplementary Next km sign will let you know the distance of the winding road if it is more than 1km.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow with tail kinked about 45 degrees left then rightyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow with tail kinked about 45 degrees right then left

Reverse curve signs

2 curves in opposite directions are close to each other on the road ahead.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that has tail bent at right angles left then rightyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that has tail bent at right angles right then left

Reverse turn signs

2 sharp turns in opposite directions are close to each other on the road ahead.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily to the leftyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily to the right

Curve signs

A curve is coming up on the road ahead. The arrow shows you the direction of the curve.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that bends to the left at a right angleyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that bends to the right at a right angle

Turn signs

The road ahead is about to turn sharply in the direction of the arrow.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that turns left into a u-shapeyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that turns right into a u-shape

Hairpin bend signs

A sharp bend, greater than 90 degrees is coming up on the road ahead.

You should slow down and approach the bend with caution.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with a line branching off on the outside of the curveyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with a line branching off on the outside of the curve
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with a line branching off on the inside of the curveyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with a line branching off on the inside of the curve

Side road intersection on a curve signs

A curve is on the road ahead with an intersection at the side road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with a line continuing upwardyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with a line continuing upward

Side road intersection on a curve signs

A side road continues straight ahead off the curved continuing road.


yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with alternate lines branching off on both sides of the curveyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with alternate lines branching off on both sides of the curve

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with 2 lines branching off the outside of the curveyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with 2 lines branching off the outside of the curv

Successive side road intersection on a curve signs

On the curve ahead there are 2 intersections, made by side roads, which are close to each other.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with straight black arrow with alternating branches off each side of the tail
yellow sign with straight black arrow with 2 branches off the left of the tailyellow diamond-shaped sign with straight black arrow with 2 branches off the right of the tail

Successive side road intersection signs

You will see 2 side roads close together that meet on the continuing road ahead.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with straight black arrow with another straight line crossing it at right angles
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily left with a straight line crossing the tail in the middleyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves steadily right with a straight line crossing the tail in the middle

Crossroad signs

A side road crosses the continuing road at an intersection ahead. The road will continue in the direction of the arrow.

When the road curves, the sign will let you know the direction of the curve.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with straight black arrow with a straight branch leaving it at a right angle on the leftyellow diamond-shaped sign with straight black arrow with a straight branch leaving it at a right angle on the right

Side road intersection signs

An intersection is ahead made by a side road joining the continuing road. This sign warns you that you are approaching an intersection with a side road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black T shape

T-intersection sign

The road you are driving on will come to an end when it joins another road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black T shape which curves to the left at the stemyellow diamond-shaped sign with black T shape which curves to the right at the stem

T-intersection beyond a curve signs

These signs warn you of a curve on the road ahead and that the road ends after the curve.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply left with a thinner line continuing upwardyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply right with a thinner line continuing upward
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply left with a thinner line branching to the rightyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply right with a thinner line branching to the left
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply left with a thinner line continuing upward and another branching to the rightyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow that curves sharply right with a thinner line continuing upward and another branching to the left

Modified intersection signs

The main road you are driving on turns through the approaching intersection and continues on in the direction of the arrow.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black car facing down a slopeyellow diamond-shaped sign with black car facing up a slope

Steep descent or steep climb signs

The road climbs or descends.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with the word crest in black

Crest sign

The highest point of the hill or mountain is coming up ahead and visibility of the road ahead may be limited.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with the word dip in black

Dip sign

There is a sharp depression from one side of the road to the other on the surface ahead and you should drive with caution. You may see this sign with the ford or floodway sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with 2 parallel black lines that veer toward each other slightly and then away again

Narrow bridge sign

The bridge ahead is narrower than the road leading up to the bridge.

yellow sign with black text, one lane

One lane sign

This sign tells you that up ahead there will only be 1 lane to drive in. This sign appears with the narrow bridge sign or grid sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with 2 parallel black lines that veer closer together

Road narrows sign

The road you are travelling on, or the lane you are travelling in, is about to reduce in width.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black upside-down Y shape

End divided road sign

This sign tells you that a divided road is about to finish. This sign appears when the median strip that separates the road is more than 300m in length.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black Y shape

Divided road signs

This sign tells you that a divided road is about to begin. This sign appears when the median strip that separates the road is more than 300m in length.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with 2 black arrows merging slightly left, another arrow turning right toward the top-right and a T-shape toward the bottom-left

S-lanes signs

On a multi-lane divided road, this sign lets you know that the far left lane is ending. The remaining lanes bend to the left, to allow for a right turn only lane at the next intersection.  

You will see this warning sign before the lane ends.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with 1 arrow pointing upward and a parallel one pointing downward

Two-way traffic sign

You will see this sign when traffic starts travelling in both directions on the road. This sign is used to warn drivers to expect traffic in both directions. It is used when you travel from a divided road to an undivided road.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with 1 arrow pointing upward and 2 parallel arrows pointing downward

Lane allocation sign

You will see this sign on undivided roads when there are 2 lanes of traffic in approaching you and 1 lane of traffic in the other direction you are driving in.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with a black arrow entering from the left and curving upward and another pointing upward with a divider between themyellow diamond-shaped sign with a black arrow entering from the right and curving upward and another pointing upward with a divider between them

Added lane signs

An extra lane is about to join the road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow pointing upward with a brach joining the tail from the bottom-leftyellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow pointing upward with a brach joining the tail from the bottom-right

Merging traffic signs

You should prepare for traffic merging as a side road ends and joins the road you are travelling on.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, left lane endsyellow sign with black arrow and text, merge right

Left lane ends and Merge right signs

The left lane is ending and traffic will need to merge into the continuing lane.

The merge right sign tells you that traffic needs to merge with vehicles travelling in the next lane.
yellow sign with a black arrow showing the kind of turn and text, exit speed 60 km/h

Exit speed signs

When leaving a motorway you should follow the recommended exit speed. The arrow shows you the direction the road takes.

These examples show the recommended exit speed for good weather conditions is 60km/h and the direction of the road ahead.
yellow sign with space for a number and black letters, km/h

Advisory speed sign

This sign points out the recommended speed for good weather and road conditions through a hazard. This sign is seen with other warning signs.
yellow sign with the word next in black, and space for a distance in km or m

Next …km and Next…m signs

This sign is used to let you know that a number of hazards will be present for the indicated length on the sign.

Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, school zones, and wildlife

These warning signs show you that you are coming up to an obstacle and you should be on the lookout for:

  • school zones
  • pedestrians
  • cyclists
  • wildlife living in the area.

You should prepare for these warning signs.

Sign Meaning
yellow diamond-shaped sign with a black symbol of an older child holding a child's hand

Children sign

Children may be crossing the road ahead (not at a pedestrian crossing).
yellow sign with black text, crossing ahead

Crossing ahead sign

A crossing for pedestrians or children is coming up ahead. A crossing ahead sign is only used with a children sign or traffic signal sign.

yellow sign with black text, play groundyellow sign with black text, preschoolyellow sign with black text, school

Schools and playground signs

Children may be crossing the road ahead (not at a pedestrian crossing) because of a:

  • playground
  • school
  • preschool.
These signs are used with the children crossing sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with a black symbol of an adult and child walking

Pedestrians sign

Pedestrians may be crossing the road ahead (not at a pedestrian crossing).
yellow sign with black text, agedyellow sign with black text, disabledyellow sign with black text, blind

Warning signs for pedestrians

Pedestrian signs warn you that people may be crossing the road up ahead (not at a  pedestrian crossing):

  • aged pedestrians
  • people with disabilities
  • people with vision impairments.

These signs can be used with the pedestrian or children signs.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow and inset sign image of legs walking

Pedestrian crossing ahead sign

You are approaching a pedestrian crossing on the road ahead.
yellow sign with black text, refuge island

Refuge island sign   

Pedestrians may cross the road in stages by stopping at a refuge island in the middle of the road.
yellow sign with black text, bus stop

Bus stop sign
Pedestrians may be on or crossing the road (not at a pedestrian crossing) because they need to:

  • get to a bus stop
  • or leave from a bus stop.
This sign is only used with the children sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black image of a bicycle

Bicycle warning sign

Cyclists are using the path or road ahead.

yellow sign with black text, crossing ramp

Crossing ramp

On a bicycle ramp crossing, this sign warns you that bicycles may be crossing the ramp.

The crossing ramp sign is only used with the bicycle sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with a black icon of a human figure walking and a bicycle

Bicycle/pedestrian warning sign

Cyclists and pedestrians can both use the path.
yellow sign with a horizontal black double-ended arrow

Crossing arrows sign

Crossing arrows show pedestrians and cyclists that their path crosses with an upcoming path or road.
narrow yellow sign with black text, watch for traffic

Watch for traffic sign

This sign lets pedestrians, trail riders, and cyclists know that they are coming up to a road crossing.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, road ahead

Road ahead sign

This sign lets cyclists travelling on an off-road path know that their path is about to end or cross a road.

white sign with black train icon and text, look for trains, number of tracks

Look for trains signs

The signs are used where there are no traffic control signs for vehicles or pedestrians crossing the tracks. The sign may also show the number of tracks you will cross.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, wild animalsyellow diamond-shaped sign with black kangaroo iconyellow diamond-shaped sign with black emu icon
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black wombat iconyellow diamond-shaped sign with black koala iconyellow diamond-shaped sign with black galloping horse icon
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black camel icon

Animal crossing signs
These signs warn drivers and riders that the road ahead is in an area where wild animals are known to cross, or be on, the road and can be a hazard such as:

  • kangaroos
  • emus
  • wombats
  • koalas
  • brumbies (wild horses)
  • camels.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of a person riding a horse and a person hiking, as well as text, national trailyellow sign with black text, crossing 300m

National trail crossing signs

Bushwalkers and horse riders using a national trail may be crossing the road ahead.

This combination shows the trail crosses the road 300m ahead. You should drive with caution.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of a person riding a horse and a person hiking, as well as text, road crossingyellow sign with black text, wait till road clear

National trail road crossing signs

These signs warn bushwalkers and horse riders using a national trail that they will cross a road ahead and to proceed with caution.

These signs are not visible to motorists on the road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, ambulance stationyellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, fire station

Emergency services signs

These signs give you early warning that emergency vehicles may suddenly drive in or out of their entrance onto the road.

Drive with caution for approaching obstacles

These signs warn you that a hazard or obstacle is coming up and extra caution is needed. 

For example, you should drive with caution when:

  • an obstacle such as a speed bump or railway crossing is ahead
  • an obstruction may be on the road such as farm animals or fallen rocks
  • a regulatory sign is coming up such as a roundabout, stop sign, or traffic light.
Sign Meaning
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow and a horizontal line with a semi-circular bump on top

Road hump ahead sign

This signs warns you a speed bump is coming up.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black horizontal line that has a semi-circular bump on top

Road hump sign

This sign lets you know you are approaching a speed bump.

A speed bump is an obstacle used to make vehicles reduce their speed on the road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow and red octagon

Stop sign ahead sign

A stop sign is coming up and you should start to slow down and prepare to stop and obey the give way rules.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black arrow and white triangle with thick red border

Give way sign ahead sign

A give way sign is coming up and you should prepare to stop and obey the give way rules.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black traffic lights icon

Signals ahead sign

This sign shows that you are approaching traffic lights.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of traffic lights with only 2 lamps

Signals ahead – ramp metering sign

This sign tells you that when you are using a motorway entry ramp, there will be a set of traffic lights that may require you to stop before entering the motorway.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with three black arrows creating a circle, pointing in a clockwise direction

Roundabout ahead sign

This sign means you are approaching a roundabout.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, slow point

Slow point sign

You need to drive slowly ahead because of changes in the road ahead such as the lanes narrow or reduce to a single lane.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, road ends

Road ends sign

This sign tells you the road you are on is ending soon.

This warning allows you to prepare to stop in time.
yellow sign with black arrow to left (or right) and text, on side road

On side road signs

This sign lets you know there is a hazard or obstacle on the side of the road. You will see this sign used with other warning signs.
yellow sign with black icon of the rear of a truck leaning to one side with an arrow showing the direction and shape of the turn

Tilting truck signs

This sign warns that trucks may tip over when driving around the curve of the road or when making a turn.

The sign may show the recommended speed limit for heavy vehicles to drive.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black truck icon

Trucks—crossing or entering sign

This sign tells you that trucks frequently enter or cross this section of road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black tractor icon

Farm machinery sign

The farm machinery sign is on roads where slow moving or wide farm machinery is working near the side of the road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icons of a cow and a sheep

Stock sign

Farm animals may be wandering on the road ahead and may cause a hazard for a distance shown on a Next…km sign.

white sign with black text of station name and unfenced road, as well as inset yellow diamond-shaped sign with sheep and cow icons and another inset yellow sign with text, watch for wandering animals

Unfenced road, watch for wandering animals sign

You should watch out for wandering farm animals on an unfenced road. For example this sign would be on an outback pastoral lease.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, grid

Grid sign

A grid for livestock is across the road ahead.

A grid is a structure made of metal bars covering a hollow or hole dug in the road to keep livestock inside a fenced area.

You should drive slowly over a grid.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of an aeroplane

Aircraft sign

An airfield is nearby and aircraft may fly over the road at low altitude.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of rocks rolling down a rockfaceyellow sign with black text, falling rocks

Fallen rocks or falling rocks signs

You should be aware that rocks or soil may fall, or have fallen, onto the road.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, rumble strips

Rumble strips sign

Rumble strips slow you down or alert you that you are heading into a known accident or fatigue area.

This sign tells you that raised strips or grooves lay across the road in this area. You will feel bumps as you drive over the strips.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, gate

Gate sign

A closed gate across the road is ahead and may stop traffic from using the road beyond the gate. If you need to open the gate to pass, make sure you close it again after you drive through.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, island

Island sign

You are approaching a traffic island.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, ferry

Ferry sign

You are approaching a ferry landing.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, opening bridge

Opening bridge sign

An opening bridge is on the road ahead. A road-block barrier will be in place to stop traffic.

An opening bridge is a bridge that raises to allow boats to pass underneath safely.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, low level bridge

Low level bridge sign

The level of the road ahead will drop to allow for the bridge ahead that is at a lower than normal road level.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, low clearance, and space for measurement

Low clearance x m sign

This sign warns you a height clearance restriction is ahead for a:

  • bridge
  • underpass
    or
  • other structure.

A regulatory low clearance sign will be displayed on these structures.

You must ensure the height of your vehicle is under the height measurement on the sign.

If your vehicle is higher than the low clearance height, you must not drive through. Use an alternative route.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black tram icon

Tram sign

This sign gives warning of a tramway on the road.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black icon of a railway crossing sign and with 2 flashing lights

Railway level crossing flashing signal ahead sign

A railway level crossing controlled by flashing signals is coming up.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, railway gate

Railway gate sign

A railway level crossing is ahead where a gate stops traffic going over the crossing.
white sign with black text, do not cross while lights are displayed or alarm sounding, number of tracks

Do not cross while lights are displayed or alarm sounding, (number) tracks sign

At railway level crossings with boom gates and lights, this sign advises traffic and pedestrians they should wait until it is safe before crossing. It also advises how many railway tracks there are to cross.
narrow white sign with black text, 2 tracks

Number of tracks signs

This sign is used on multiple rail track crossings to indicate the number or tracks.

In this example there are two sets of tracks to cross.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black train icon

Railway crossing ahead—passive control signs

A railway crossing is ahead and controlled by a give way or stop sign.

This sign used with a railway crossing on road signs gives you warning of the railway ahead.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black line and rail tracks showing what angle they intersect the road

Railway crossing on road signs

A railway crossing is ahead and controlled by a give way sign. You should look for approaching trains.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black T shape with rail tracks, showing how they intersect the road

Railway crossing on side road or cross road signs

A railway level crossing controlled by signs, such as a give way or stop sign, is on the next side road.
red sign with white text, prepare to stop

Prepare to stop sign

The prepare to stop sign is installed when the train signals are not easily seen on approach.

You will see this sign used with the warning sign for signals ahead.

yellow sign with black text, cane railway

Cane railway sign

A railway is used by sugar cane trains.

This warning sign is only used with the railway crossing ahead—passive control signs.

yellow sign with black text, cane hauling ahead

Cane hauling ahead flag

Sugar cane harvesting and hauling may be happening on the road. Drivers should look out for agricultural and heavy vehicles.

You will see this flag used with the guide sign sugar cane area.

See traffic instruction signs to find out more.
white sign with black text, cane railway crossings for number of kmwhite sign with black text, end of cane railway crossings

Cane railway crossing signs

A series of cane railway crossings are on the road ahead.

You will see both signs used—so that you know where the crossings start and end. The first sign will tell you the distance of road that the cane railways are on.

Driving for the road conditions

These signs warn you how the weather and environment can change the road condition because it:

  • floods
  • is unsealed or under construction
  • is affected by weather conditions.

You must drive to the conditions of the road.

Sign Meaning
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black car icon and skid marks indicating swerving movement

Slippery sign

This warning sign lets you know the road ahead is slippery.
yellow sign with black text, when frostyyellow sign with black text, when wet
yellow sign with black text, under snowyellow sign with black text, boggy when wet
yellow sign with black text, on bridge when frosty

Slippery surface because of weather signs
Weather conditions may make the surface ahead slippery:

  • when frosty
  • when wet
  • under snow
  • boggy when wet
  • on a bridge when frosty.

The boggy when wet sign indicates that after rain, the road becomes spongy, and you may not be able to drive or will be very slow.

You will see this sign used with the slippery sign.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, floodway

Floodway sign

A floodway sign warns you that a section of road ahead may have water flowing over it.

You can still use the road with care unless signed otherwise.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, floodways

Floodways sign

A floodways sign warns you that sections of the road ahead may have water flowing over it.

A sign showing the length of road subject to flooding is also used with this sign

You can still use the road with care unless signed otherwise.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, uneven surface

Uneven surface sign

This sign lets you know you are approaching a road where the surface is uneven and the road condition changes.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, gravel road

Gravel road sign

The road ahead does not have a sealed bitumen or concrete surface. You should drive to the road conditions.
yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, drift sand

Drift sand sign

The road surface might not be visible or slow to drive on because sand has drifted onto it.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, soft edges

Soft edges sign

This sign lets you know that the sides of the road are soft or not firm, and may be slow or hazardous to drive on.

yellow diamond-shaped sign with black text, ford

Ford sign

This sign lets you know water may flow across the road ahead except during droughts. You can still use the road with care.

Do you know your road signs?

Refresh your knowledge of road signs. Understanding the meaning of our road signs will help keep you safe. 

Last updated
23 September 2014
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