Translation and Page Copyright © 2001 Bernd Felsche, Perth, Western Australia

Read This First!

Information on this page is from the German Traffic Safety Council's web site.

All reasonable care has been exercised in translation. However, the owner of this page is in no way liable for errors.

German Road Signs

Germany's road signs are based on common EU practice with colours, symbols and shapes in line with the majority of continental practice.

The signs shown here are not exhaustive. Other signage occurs, but a familiarity with the signs on this page will serve well as a basis for interpreting other just about all other signs.

Signs are by and large pictographic, i.e. they convey a message by a picture, rather than words. This is partly out of necessity as Europeans don't have a common spoken or written language; and partly out of the recognition that a picture tells a thousand words.

Common Pictographs

Warning, regulatory and advisory signs share commong picture elements defining the type of traffic.

v1.png
Cars and other multi-track vehicles
v2.png
Motor vehicles of greater than
3.5 t except buses and passenger cars
v3.png
Cyclists
v4.png
Pedestrians
v5.png
Riders
v6.png
Livestock
v7.png
Trams
v8.png
Buses
v9.png
Passenger cars
v10.png
Passenger cars with Trailer
v11.png
Trucks with Trailers
v12.png
Motor vehicles with a maximum
speed of less than 25kmh
v13.png
Motorcycles; possibly with sidecars.
Also motor scooters
v14.png
Motor scooters

Hazard Warning Signs

Warning signs appear before a particular hazard; between 200 and 250m before the hazard outside of built-up areas or just prior to the hazard in built-up areas.

If the hazard is closer than 200m outside a built-up area, then the warning sign is augmented by a distance sign such as
100m.png
If the hazard persists for some distance, then is may also be augmented by a sign such as
3km.png

101.png
Traffic Hazard
z1.png z2.png
Sample hazard detail supplementary signs
102.png
Junction with right of way from right
103.png
Curve (to right)
105.png
S-Bend (first to right)
108.png
Steep descent
110.png
Steep climb
112.png
Uneven surface
113.png
Slippery snow or ice
114.png
Slippery when wet or dirty
115.png
Falling rocks
116.png
Loose surface
117.png
(Strong) Side winds
120.png
Road narrows
121.png
Road narrows on right
123.png
Roadworks
124.png
Traffic jam (possible)
125.png
On-coming traffic
Undivided road
128.png
Moving bridge
129.png
Shoreline
131.png
Traffic lights
133.png
Pedestrians
134.png
Pedestrian crossing
136.png
Children
138.png
Cyclists crossing
140.png
Livestock
142.png
Wildlife
144.png
Aircraft

Railway Level Crossings

150.png
Railway level crossing with (boom)gates
151.png
Railway level crossing without gates
153.png
240 m before level crossing with gates
156.png
240 m before level crossing without gates
159.png
then 160m before crossing
162.png
and 80m before crossing

Regulatory Signs

A railway crossing is usually indicated by
201.png
and may be accompanied by an arrow to indicate the crossing on a side-road, or with a lightning-bolt to indicate an electrified line.

205.png
Give Way
lr.png
Advises of cycle traffic
206.png
STOP
s100m.png
Possible supplementary
208.png
On-coming traffic has right-of-way
z3.png
Advises of priority traffic flow
209.png
Right turn
211.png
Turn right
214.png
Straight-ahead or right
215.png
Roundabout
220.png
One-way
ud.png
If the limit is 30kmh or less,
cycle traffic may be permitted in both directions
222.png
Keep right
224.png
Bus/Tram stop
229.png
Taxi stand
237.png
Cyclists
238.png
Riders
239.png
Pedestrians
240.png
Shared footpath and cycleway
241.png
Divided footpath and cycleway
242.png
Start pedestrian zone
fstrasse.png
Start of cycle path
nfstrasse.png
End of cycle path
243.png
End pedestrian zone
zus251.png
Designates low-emission vehicles
exempt from restriction
245.png
Bus lane
rfrei.png
Restrictions may be relaxed by supplementary signs
such as the above for cycles, with the word frei.

250.png
Vehicles of all types prohibited
z4.png
Supplementary sign
Road reserve is a recreation area
251.png
Cars and multi-track vehicles prohibited
253.png
Trucks etc over 3.5t prohibited
254.png
Cyclists prohibited
255.png
Motorcycles, etc prohibited
259.png
Pedestrians prohibited
260.png
Combined prohibition
Motor cycles and cars
261.png
Placarded loads prohibited
262.png
Vehicles over 5.5 t actual prohibited
263.png
Permissible axle load
264.png
Width limit
265.png
Height limit
266.png
Length limit
267.png
NO ENTRY
268.png
Snow chains must be carried
269.png
Vehicles with water-polluting
loads prohibited
270.png
Traffic prohibition under smog conditions
272.png
No U-turns
273.png
Minimum following distance
274.png
Speed limit
May be supplemented by
Z5.png
i.e. when wet
274-1.png
Speed restriction zone start
274-2.png
Speed restriction zone ends
275.png
Minimum speed (mandatory)
276.png
Overtaking prohibited for all vehicles
277.png
Overtaking prohibited for vehicles over 3.5t
z6.png
Possible supplementary sign indicating
distance for which restriction applies
278.png
Ends corresponding maximum speed restriction
279.png
Ends corresponding minimum speed restriction
280.png
Ends overtaing restriction
281.png
Ends overtaing restriction
282.png
Ends ALL restrictions
283.png
No stopping
286.png
Loading zone
290.png
Restriction for a zone
z7.png
Prohibits stopping on verge.
291.png
Parking disc required
292.png
Ends loading zone restriction

Road Markings

293.png
Pedestrian crossing
294.png
Stop lines
295.png
Lane and road boundary marking
296.png
directional lane marking
Through-traffic may not cross from side A to B.
297.png
Lane markings for turns
297-1.png
Indication of lane end and/or merge
298.png
Cross-hatched area may not be used by vehicles
299.png
Marking of shortened/extended bus stop

Priority

306.png
Priority road
z8.png
Supplementary sign to indicate
direction of priority traffic
307.png
End of priority road
308.png
Priority over on-coming traffic
301.png
Right of way at next intersection/junction

Locality

310.png
Start
Built-up areas known as localities have an urban speed limit of 50kmh applies throughout, except as noted on the regulatory signs on specific roads in the area.

The reverse (departing side) side of the locality sign often shows the distance to the next locality as well as terminating the zone.

311.png
End

Parking

314.png
Parking area
may be restricted by
supplementary signs
315.png
Parking on footpath
316.png
Park & Ride
317.png
Hikers' car park

Traffic-Calmed Zones

325.png
Start of zone
A walking-speed limit applies to all vehicles. The zone is available as an open space for recreation. Pedestrians have right of way but may not unduly delay the passage of vehicles. Vehicles may not park in the delineated roadway other than to load and unload. 326.png
End of zone

Autobahn and Motorways

330.png
Start Autobahn
on all approaches
334.png
End Autobahn
on all exits
332.png
Exit directional
331.png
Start motorway
(Limited-access highway)
on all approaches and
along the motorway
336.png
End Motorway
on all exits/off-ramps
333.png
Exit identification

Lane and Give-Way Marking

340.png 341.png

Advisory Signs

350.png
At pedestrian crossing
353.png
On one-way street
indicating direction
354.png
Warning to drivers of vehicles
carrying water-polluting loads
to take extra care
Catchment area or nature preserve
355.png
Pedestrian under-/over-pass
356.png
Traffic warden
Crossing guard
357.png
No through road
358.png
First-aid post
359.png
Breakdown assistance
363.png
Police
375.png
Autobahn motel
376.png
Autobahn restaurant
377.png
Autobahn Kiosk

Advisory Limit

380.png
Start
An advisory limit applies even under good conditions. It is recommended that this speed not be exceeded at any time. 381.png
End

Other Advisory Signs

385.png
Identifies locality in the
absence of other signs
386.png
Tourist information
388.png
Soft shoulder
394.png
Indicates street lighting is not
illuminated all night

Borders and Customs

392.png
Border/Customs Control
393.png
Information at border crossing
50kmh limit in built-up areas
100kmh outside
130kmh advisory on Autobahn

Direction/Orientation Signs

401.png
National highway number
Bundesstraße
405.png
Autobahn number
406.png
Autobahn junction number
410.png
European highway number
415.png
Directional sign on Bundesstraße
418.png
Other main traffic direction
419.png
Minor traffic direction
421.png
For particular vehicle type
430.png
To Autobahn
432.png
Local major traffic destination
434.png
Direction board
approaching/at major intersections
435.png
Direction sign within locality
436.png
Another direction sign within locality
437.png
Street names appear on posts at major intersections

Turnoff Signs

These appear before the junctions.

438.png
439.png
Choose the correct lane early
440.png
To Autobahn
442.png
For particular traffic types

On the Autobahn

448.png
Turnoff advice with junction number
448.1.png
Vehicle service depot turnoff
z9.png
Autobahn exit supplementary sign
z10.png
Identifies major Autobahn junction
supplementary sign
449.png
Exit advice
450.png
Warning of exit
at every 100 m before exit
453.png
Distance board

Detours

454.png
Start of detour
and at junctions as necessary
455.png
Numbered detour
458.png
Schematic showing detour
457.png
Detour advisory may have
supplementary distance or direction sign
459.png
End detour

Autobahn Detours

Autobahn traffic conditions often make an alternate route desirable. The road network has pre-planned detours marked which the driver can choose to take.

Traffic conditions reports are broadcast on FM radio. But usually only in German.

460.png
Identifies alternate route
466.png
Sign indicating route back to Autobahn
467.png
Recommended alternate routes

Other Traffic Direction Signs

468.png
Indicates complex traffic routing
500.png
Diversion of traffic to opposite side.
Similar sign for diversion back

Traffic Obstacles

Roadworks and traffic crashes require additional traffic control measures.

 
600.png
Boom gate
605.png
Guide post
610.png
Traffic cone
615.png
Mobile blocking board
616.png
Blocking board with
flashing direction light

Guide Posts

620l.png
Left side
620r.png
Right side

Corners and Parking Boards

625.png
Direction arrows in corner/bend
630.png
Boards affixed to some
vehicles when parked
Translation and Page Copyright © 2001 Bernd Felsche, Perth, Western Australia