Theory Test Questions About Road Signs

Theory Test Questions About Road Signs

Every year, hundreds of thousands of copies of The Highway Code are sold, ensuring that it remains on the best-seller lists for an extended period of time. It is one of the few books still in existence that can lay claim to having saved tens of thousands of lives over the years. 

The first edition, which was published in 1931, contained the following information: Since the Code’s inception, it has been subjected to periodic amendments to keep pace with technological advancements as well as innovations in traffic management and road safety. The first time traffic signs were depicted in a diagram was in the second edition, which contained only ten signs in all. Now there are many, many more. 

These days, UK learner drivers have to pass a theory test before they can take their practical driving test. The driving theory test is multiple-choice, with one of the 20 questions in its Hazard Perception section being about road signs. You can’t miss them. They are the most important things to pay attention to while driving on the road. But what happens when you come across a sign you do not know? Here is a brief overview of road signs and how you can work out what they mean.

There are hundreds of different road signs, each with its unique meaning, on this stretch of road. However, based on their shape, the majority of them fall into one of three categories. The general guideline is as follows: 

  • Circular road signs: Circular road signs convey orders, and they must be followed in order to remain within the boundaries of the law. Circles with a red border indicate what you are not allowed to do such as take a U-turn.  Blue circles are typically used to convey something that you can do, such as ‘turn left ahead of you.
  • Triangle road signs: Triangular road signs are warnings. In the shape of an equilateral triangle, road signs are intended to alert you to changes in the road layout or any potential hazards that may be ahead, such as sharp turns. They are usually always surrounded by a red border.
  • Rectangle road signs: Road signs in the shape of rectangles communicate. Motorways are marked with blue rectangular signs, principal roads are marked with green rectangular signs, and minor roads are marked with white rectangular signs, all of which are numbered. The use of rectangular signs can also be used to designate bus lanes and congestion fee zones. 

The majority of traffic signs, such as speed restrictions, should be self-explanatory; nevertheless, there are a few that are not quite so obvious. These might include the ever-confusing ‘National Speed Limit Applies sign’. Where you are driving changes the national speed limit. So, how fast should you be going and where?

  • In built-up areas, where there are street lamps placed no more than 200 yards apart, the speed limit is 30mph for all vehicles.
  • On a single carriageway, cars and vans should do a maximum of 60mph, but 50mph if towing
  • On a dual carriageway or a motorway, cars and vans should be doing 70mph, and towing vehicles should be doing 60mph.

Of course, even when the national speed limit applies, it might not always be safe or practical to drive at that speed, so use your common sense on this. It is a limit, not a target. 




How To Master Roundabouts In Brentwood

How To Master Roundabouts In Brentwood

Plenty of learners find it difficult to get their head around roundabouts – not just in Brentwood but all over the country.

Just seeing a roundabout sign can induce fear and panic in most drivers, but roundabouts aren’t half as scary as you think if you get your road positioning and signalling right.

Get the basics right

There are around 10,000 roundabouts in the UK and they come in all shapes and sizes. You only need to master a basic four exit roundabout as you can then apply the skills you learn to other more complicated road layouts.

As you approach, look for road signs and road markings that will direct you into the right lane. Check your mirrors and signal in plenty of time if you need to switch to another lane.


Tackling roundabouts is all about being in the right position, driving at the right speed and keeping an eye out for other road users on the passenger side, particularly motorbikes and cyclists.

Turning left (first exit)

  • Position yourself in the left-hand lane
  • Signal to turn left
  • Move on to the roundabout when the road is clear and keep signalling left
  • Use the passenger door mirror (nearside) to check that it’s safe to exit the roundabout


Going straight ahead (second exit)

  • Approach in the lane indicated by road signs or markings – if in doubt, stick to the left-hand lane
  • Only signal left once you’ve passed the exit before the one you want
  • Use your nearside mirror to make sure the exit is clear and you’re safe to leave the roundabout


Turning right (third or final exit)

  • Position yourself in the right-hand lane
  • Keep signalling right as you move around the roundabout
  • Signal left when you pass the exit before the one that you want to take
  • Use your nearside mirror to check for other road users and then exit the roundabout


Any other tips?

Don’t panic! Just remember MSPSL: Mirror – Signal – Position – Speed – Look and check that the car in front is actually moving before you pull away. Larger and more complex roundabouts can seem intimidating, but they all follow the basic pattern for signalling and lane positioning, so start with smaller roundabouts and work your way up.

Mastering roundabouts in Brentwood is all about practice, so book in for a lesson and ask your driving instructor to take you round the Brook Street roundabout until you’re 100% confident with your roundabout driving and ready for your test!