Sign Standards

Document No:  67-08-4B
 
Revision:  2P
 
Date amended:  30-Jul-2013

 

Image: orange line.RCN-D13^23151823.GIF

 

The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments please contact Ron Koorengevel by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4704.

To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.

 

Revision Register

 

Ed/Version Number Clause Number Description of Revision Date

1

All Guideline Developed. 16-Apr-2003 

2

All New Version. 29-Aug-2005 
2A 3.43.5 Stop (R1-1), Giveway (R1-2) & Roundabout (R1-3) Signs to be Class 1W.Table 4 revised. 01-Apr-2006
2B 3.5 Table 4 and 5 revised. Sign R6-29 (Keep Left Unless Overtaking) Specified as Sign "C". 13-May-2006
2C 3.4 & 3.6 Specification 601 updated. 10-Oct-2006
2D 3.5 Table 4 and 5 revised. Link included for size of MR-WAW Series Signs. 08-Feb-2007
2E 3.4 & 3.5 Table 3 - Class of School Zone Signs changed to Class 1 only. Tables 4 & 5 edited. 20-Feb-2007
2F 3.4 & 3.6 Relinked to Updated Specification 601. 19-Apr-2007
2G 3.5 Sizes for Signs G9-10, G9-11 & G9-12 added to tables 4 & 5. 05-Jul-2007
2H 3.4 & 3.6 Specification 601 updated. 30-Aug-2007
2I 3.4 & 3.6 Relinked to Updated Specification 601. 27-Sep-2007
2J 3.1 & 3.2 3.5  3.6 Australian Standards references changed. Applicable speeds for MR-GS-3 & MR-GS-4 signs in Tables 4 & 5 revised.Clause related to provision of POF revised. 18-Oct-2007
2I 3.4 & 3.6 Relinked to Updated Specification 601. 27-Sep-2007
2K 3.5 Size of GE7-6 "Emergency Only" signs added to Tables 4 & 5. 15-Mar-2008
2L 3.5 Table 4 - Relink 'Metropolitan Functional Road Hierarchy' to New Website. 09-Oct-2008
2M 3.4 Table 3 - Retroreflective material for Street name signs changed to Class 1.Retroreflective material for Street name signs G5 and MR-GS-5 changed to Class 1W. 11-Jun-2009
2N Header Contact person changed. 21-Sep-2011
2O 3.4 & 3.6 Specification 601 re-linked. 30-Nov-2012
2P 3.5 Table 4 Note 2 - Missing text added.
Table 5 Note 1 - Missing text added.
30-Jul-2013

Table of Content


 

 

CHAPTER 3 - SIGN STANDARDS

 

1. INTRODUCTION

This guideline describes Main Roads standards for the colour and retroreflectivity materials to be used on the face of the sign, the size of the sign to be selected, and requirements with regards to the use of graffiti protection on sign faces. 

The standards and specifications for the face of signs used for controlling vehicular and pedestrian traffic shall comply with AS 1742 - Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Parts 1 - 15) and the Main Roads Index of Signs (Categories 1 & 3). AS 1742.1 sets out the basic design of signs in terms of colours, size, shapes and makes reference to other AS 1742 relevant parts for use of sign sizes. 

 

2. REFERENCES

Australian Standards

  • AS1742

Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (Parts 1 to 15) (From time to time individual documents are revised, which may change or include signs that are not included in AS1742.1.  Therefore all documents relevant to a particular type of traffic control device should be referenced for advice.)  

  • AS1743           

Road Signs - Specifications

  • AS1906.1       

Retroreflective materials and devices for road traffic control purposes Part 1: Retroreflective materials

 

Main Roads WA

  • Main Roads Specification 601: Signs
  • Main Roads Guidelines
    • Signs and Pavement Marking Guidelines
    • Pavement Marking Standards
    • Sign Structural Design Guidelines
    • Specifications for Sign and Pavement Marking Materials, Installation and Maintenance
    • Main Roads Signs Index

 

3. CLASSIFICATION AND FUNCTION

In AS1742.1, signs are classified by function into 6 classes.  The Main Roads WA's Index of Signs retains this classification system, except that Guide signs are split into 3 classes as indicated in Table 1.  All Main Roads Signs Index signs have the prefix "MR-" before the letter code denoting the class of sign.

 

TABLE 1

SIGN CLASSIFICATION AND FUNCTION

Sign Classification
Index of Australian
Standards Signs
AS 1742
Main Roads Index of Signs
Regulatory Signs Type R Type MR-R
Warning Signs Type W Type MR-W
Guide Signs Type G Type MR-G (Directional Signs)
Type MR-S (Service Signs)
Type MR-V (Tourist Signs)
Guide Signs Type GE Type MR-GE
Temporary Signs Type T Type MR-T
Hazard Markers Type D Type MR-HM

Notes:  (1) The Main Roads Index of Signs contains signs developed for use in Western Australia, which are additional and complementary to the Australian Standard Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
            (2) Where signs in the Main Roads and Australian Standards are similar, the signs contained in the Main Roads Index of Signs shall be used.

4. RETROREFLECTIVITY AND COLOUR OF FACE MATERIAL

Signs that are required to convey their message during the hours of darkness (except parking signs) shall be retroreflective so their colours and shape are as recognisable by night as by day.  Retroreflective materials for use on signs are currently specified in Australian Standards AS1906.1 and Main Roads Specification 601 and are as described in Table 2. 

 

TABLE 2

RETROREFLECTIVE SIGN MATERIALS 

Class of Material

Reference

Description

1W




Main Roads Spec 601



Wide Angle retroreflective sheeting material designed to return light from a vehicle's headlights back to the driver's eyes at wide observation angles.  The Class 1W material should be used where a sign is required to be viewed from a wide angle, eg signs on overhead bridges and gantries and signs where the driver's line of sight to a sign is disadvantaged.
1A


AS1906.1


Very high photometric performance material designed to return light from a vehicle's headlights back to the driver's eyes from a long distance, but at a narrow observation angle.  This type of material is usually specified for delineators only. 
1
AS1906.1
High photometric performance material designed for areas with medium ambient lighting
2A AS1906.1 NOT used in Western Australia
AS1906.1 Standard/Low photometric performance material designed for areas with low ambient lighting

Note:  Class 1 retroreflective material has reflective properties some four times higher than Class 2 retroreflective material. 

Some factors to consider in the selection and use of sign materials are:

    • Regulatory signs inform road users of their legal requirements under traffic laws or regulations that would be an offence to disregard.  These signs must therefore always be obvious to approaching drivers. 
    • The conspicuity of retroreflectorised signs is significantly reduced in areas with high intensity road or background lighting (including private lighting or illuminated advertising signs). 
    • The driver's awareness of signs is reduced in areas with high traffic volumes.
    • Class 1 retroreflective materials, while more expensive than Class 2 materials offer significant whole-of-life cost savings due to their longer life.

Due to the above, a high level of reflectorisation (Class 1 material) is specified for most signs in Western Australia.  Exceptions to this requirement are where

    • The reflected light from a large background area of Class 1 white retroreflective material might "blind" the onlooker to the legend.
    • The signs are intended for information use only, do not regulate, warn or direct traffic and have an expectant life of 5 years or less.  Hence the longer life of Class 1 material is not required (eg Funding series signs MR-GZ, some General series MR-GM).
    • Signs are not intended to be read by drivers while travelling at the 85th percentile speed of the road (eg parking restrictions).

The class of retroreflective material to be used for road signs shall be as specified in Table 3 (for exceptions related to existing maintenance contracts (TNCs, TCIC), refer to Note 2 at the bottom of the table).

The colours used for all signs shall be in accordance with those specified in AS1742.1, AS1743, the Main Roads Index of Signs and Table 3.

 

TABLE 3 

SIGN COLOURS AND REFLECTIVE MATERIALS  

Sign Classification Sign Colours and Retroreflective Material Class

1. Regulatory Signs

Types R, MR-R

Colours: Black legend and border, black and/or red symbols, on white background except where other colours are specified by Australian Standards or Main Roads Index of Signs (e.g. STOP R1-1: white on red). 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Stop (R1-1), Giveway (R1-2) & Roundabout (R1-3) shall be Class 1W.
    • Parking series R5 and MR-RPK, mounted parallel to the road - Class 2 retroreflective background and legend may be used.  
    • Pedestrian crossing MR-RP-10 (R3-1) - black legend on fluorescent yellow/green Class 1W retroreflective background.
    • All pedestrian decals at traffic signals may be screen printed on vinyl.

2. Warning Signs

Types W, MR-W

Colours: Black legend, border and symbols, on yellow background except where other colours are specified by Australian Standards or Main Roads Index of Signs (e.g. 60km/h Zone Ahead - MR-WDAD-2, black legend, arrow and border, red annulus on yellow background). 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Signs, when used in conjunction with school/children crossings shall be black legend, symbols and border on fluorescent orange Class 1W retroreflective background.
    • Pedestrian crossing warning sign MR-WDP-7 (W6-2) - black legend on fluorescent yellow/green Class 1W retroreflective background.

3. Guide - Large Direction Signs

Types G1, G2, G4, G9-6, G9-7, G9-8, G9-42, G9-43, G10

 

Colours:

    • White legend, border and symbols, on standard green background. 
    • Street / Route name inserts and Street / Route Name Tags - Black legend on White background.
    • Route marker inserts - legends and backgrounds as specified for Types G8.
    • Insert panels with legends such as ONLY, EXIT ONLY, associated with directions to indicate a trap lane situation shall be black on a yellow background.

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Use Class 1W retroreflective legend and retroreflective background for signs on overhead gantries/bridges or where sign is viewed from wide angles.

4. Guide - Route Markers,
Traffic Instructions, Cycling Signs

Types G8 (Excl. G8-9
Tourist Signs) MR-GRM-2,
G9-3, G9-4, G9-5, G9-9,
G9-10A, G9-11A, G9-12A,
G9-15 to G9-23, G9-24A,
G9-25A, G9-26 to G9-36,
G9-40, G9-41, G9-45,
G9-48 to G9-52, G9-57 to G9-65, MR-GT, MR-GC, MR-GM (except 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 23 to 27).

Colours:  Black legend, border and symbols, on white background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Other colour combinations (eg. Route marker signs) as specified by Australian Standards or Main Roads Index of Signs
    • Bicycle route markers G8-18 to be white legend on blue background. 

5. Guide - Fingerboard, Street Names, Traffic Instructions, Funding, General Signs

Types G3, G5, G6, G9-10C, G9-11B, G9-12B, G9-24B, G9-25B, G9-37, G9-38, G9-39, G9-44, G9-46, G9-47, G9-53, MR-GFB, MR-GS, MR-GZ, MR-GM-5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 23 to 27.

Colours:  Black legend, border and symbols, on white background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Other colour combinations as specified by Australian Standards or Main Roads Index of Signs (eg. Funding Series)
    • MR-GZ-1 to 3 and MR-GZ-5 to 7 - Class 1 or 2 retroreflective legend and background as indicated on the drawings.
    • G5 and MR-GS-5 Class 1W retroreflective legend and background as indicated on the drawings.

6. Freeway Guide - Direction Signs

Types GE1, GE2, GE4, GE6 (Except GE6-8),
MR-GE

Colours: 

    • White legend, border and symbols, on standard green background. 
    • Street / Route name inserts and Street / Route Name Tags - Black legend on White background.
    • Route marker inserts - legends and backgrounds as specified for Types G8.
    • Insert panels with legends such as ONLY, EXIT ONLY, associated with directions to indicate a trap lane situation shall be black on a yellow background.

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Use Class 1W retroreflective legend and background for signs on overhead gantries/bridges or where sign is viewed from wide angles.

7. Freeway Guide - Traffic Instructions

Types GE9,

Colours:  Black legend, border and symbols, on white background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

8. Temporary

Types T, MR-T

Colours:  Black legend, border and symbols, on yellow background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Other colour combinations as specified by Australian Standards or Main Roads Index of Signs
    • The symbolic workers sign (T1-5) shall consist of a black symbol and border on a fluorescent red or fluorescent orange Class 1W retroreflective background

9. Hazard Markers

Types D, MR-HM

Colours:  White chevrons, on black background or black bands on white background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Exceptions

    • Curve Alignment Marker (D4-6) - Black chevron on yellow retroreflective background.
    • Left / Right with a speed limit (MR-HM-17) - speed limit insert to consist of black numerals on a yellow Class 1 retroreflective background.

10. Service Signs

Types G7, GE6-8, GE7, MR-S

Colours:  White legend, border and symbols, on blue background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

11. Tourist Signs

Type G8-9, G11, MR-V

 

Colours:  White legend, border and symbols, on brown background. 

Retroreflective material: Class 1

Notes:-

(1)  Any signs that are not maintained by Main Roads WA (or the TNCs / TCIC) should be replaced in accordance with the requirements of this table, as and when required by maintenance.

(2)  For existing MRWA maintenance contracts (TNCs, TCIC) the class of retroreflective material to be used for road signs shall be based on a replace like-with-like basis, except:

    • Where specified otherwise by the Main Roads Contract manager that the requirements of this table be used.
    • All regulatory signs - class 1 or Class 1W (as specified) to be used.
    • All temporary road works signs - class 1 to be used.

 

5. SIZES

Many standard signs can be produced in a range of sizes.  Standards Australia and Main Roads use a letter coding system (A to E where A is the smallest size) to denote the size of the sign.  The range of sizes available for each sign varies with some signs only available in one, two or three sizes.  E size signs are only available for a few specific signs within AS1742.1.  Generally size "D" and "E" signs are only used in exceptional circumstances. 

The required size of the sign is dependent on:

    • The function of the sign - e.g. a regulatory sign indicates the application of legal requirements at particular locations in which the requirements may not otherwise be apparent and to which the road users attention must be drawn.
    • The operating speed of vehicles travelling along a road e.g. a higher speed environment generally requires drivers to view the sign from a longer distance and hence a larger sign is required to attract driver attention. 
    • Road function and daily traffic volumes - PRIMARY DISTRIBUTOR (i.e. Freeways, Controlled Access Highways, Highways), DISTRICT & LOCAL DISTRIBUTORS (other Arterial Roads) or LOCAL ACCESS ROADS (low speed residential roads).
    • Adjacent roadside environment - e.g. larger signs may be required through heavy commercialised areas where buildings, advertising signs and roadside parking reduce the conspicuity of traffic signs for drivers.

The size of signs generally shall be in accordance with Tables 4 & 5.

A variation to the sizes listed in Tables 4 & 5 shall require the approval of the person(s) authorised in terms of Clause 16.1 of the Delegation of Authority document.

 

TABLE 4

SIGN SIZES IN THE PERTH METROPOLITAN AREA

Roads

Signs

Sign Size(1),(2)

SELECTED PRIMARY DISTRIBUTORS
Mitchell Freeway
Kwinana Freeway
Roe Highway
Tonkin Highway
Reid Highway
(Including On & Off Ramps to all of the above)

All (except those listed below)

C

    • Lane Ends Merge Right/Left
    • Keep Left Signs
    • GE7-6 "Emergency Only" signs

 

B
A
A

 

Signs at Ramp terminal intersections.

As per Other Primary Distributors

Advance Warning Flashing Signs: MR-WAW Series.

As per table in Section 1.2.3 of AWFS Guideline

OTHER PRIMARY DISTRIBUTORS
DISTRICT DISTRIBUTORS A & B
LOCAL DISTRIBUTORS
Remaining Red (Primary Dist)
All Green, Blue and Orange roads in the Metropolitan Functional Road Hierarchy.

All (except those listed below)

B

All signs on Local Distributor (Orange) roads where 85th percentile speed is reduced to 40 km/h or through speed zoning, LATM, or geometry.

A

Lane Ends Merge Right/Left

A

Keep Left Signs

A

 

Route Markers
   - 80 km/h & greater
   - 70 km/h & less

 

 

 
B
A

 

 

Speed Zone Change Signs
   - All Roads
   - Except, Roads in residential 
     areas in rural townsites

 

C
B

Street Name Tags (MR-GS-3 & 4) 
   - 90 km/h & greater
   - 80 km/h & less

B
A

Keep Left Unless Overtaking.
(R6-29 - Previously G9-39).

C

Advance Warning Flashing Signs: MR-WAW Series.

As per table in Section 1.2.3 of AWFS Guideline

G9-10, G9-11, G9-12.

A

GE7-6 "Emergency Only" signs

A

LOCAL ACCESS ROADS

Black Roads in the Metropolitan Functional Road Hierarchy.

All Regulatory Signs (except those listed below)

B

    • All regulatory signs on Local Access roads where 85th percentile speed is reduced to 40km/h or through speed zoning, LATM, or geometry.
    • All Keep Left Signs
    • All Other Signs

A

 

Street Name Tags (MR-GS-3 & 4) 
   - 90 km/h & greater
   - 80 km/h & less

 


B
A

Advance Warning Flashing Signs: MR-WAW Series.

As per table in Section 1.2.3 of AWFS Guideline

Notes:-

(1) Where the size listed is larger than the largest specified version of the sign required (refer AS1742.1 and Main Roads Index of Signs), then the largest version shall be used.  (eg R6-21 End Freeway largest size is "B").

(2) General exception on all roads:  All signs attached to traffic signals or placed on narrow islands (1.2m width) shall be size "A". The sizes of all signs attached to overhead traffic signal mast arms shall be assessed on site.

 

TABLE 5

SIGN SIZES OUTSIDE OF THE PERTH METROPOLITAN AREA   

Roads​ ​Signs Sign Size​ (1)
​HIGHWAYS, MAIN ROADS, PRIMARY, DISTRICT AND LOCAL DISTRIBUTORS Speed limit 70 to 110 km/h ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ All (except those listed below)​ ​B
  • ​All signs on Local Distributor roads where 85th percentile speed is reduced to 40km/h or through speed zoning, LATM, or geometry.
  • Lane Ends Merge Right/Left
  • Keep Left Signs
  • G9-10, G9-11, G9-12
  • GE7-6 "Emergency Only" signs
​A
​Route Markers
    • 80 km/h & greater
    • 70 km/h & less

B

A

​​Speed Zone Change Signs
    • All Roads
    • Except, Roads in residential
      areas in rural townsites

​C

B

​Keep Left Unless Overtaking.
(R6-29 - Previously G9-39).
​C
​Advance Warning Flashing Signs: MR-WAW Series. As per table in Section 1.2.3 of AWFS Guideline
Street name Tags (MR-GS-3 & 4
    • 90 km/h & greater
    • 80 km/h & less

 

​B

A

​LOCAL ACCESS ROADS
Speed Limits 60 km/h, or less ​
​All Regulatory Signs (except those listed below) ​B
  • ​All regulatory signs on Local Access roads where 85th percentile speed is reduced to 40km/h or through speed zoning, LATM, or geometry.
  • All Keep Left Signs
  • All Other Signs
​A
​Advance Warning Flashing Signs: MR-WAW Series. As per table in Section 1.2.3 of AWFS Guideline

Notes:

(1) General exception on all roads:  All signs attached to traffic signals or placed on narrow islands (1.2m width) shall be size "A". The sizes of all signs attached to overhead traffic signal mast arms shall be assessed on site.

 
 

6. GRAFFITI PROTECTION

The provision of a protective overlay film (POF) in all areas shall be at the discretion of the relevant Regional Manager. The POF shall be as specified in the Main Roads Sign Specification 601.

 

7. GREEN ZONE

Along some roads adjacent to the Swan and Canning Rivers and within large landscaped areas, the rear surface of all multiple-posted guide (including freeway guide), service and tourist signs along with all poles, brackets and other fixings located in the "Green Zone", as shown in Drawing No. 9448-0144, shall be painted Brunswick Green.