Driver Knowledge Tests

Animal road signs from the UK

Moving to the UK for job prospects? It’s certainly not for the weather. They don’t have as many animals as we have here in Australia, but there are some large animals you should be aware of on the road.

badger-crossing-sign-uk Badgers are small, solidly built nocturnal animals you’ll find in the countryside. The size of a small dog they are predominantly grey with a prominent white and black striped head.
 deer-warning-sign-uk Deer can be skittish and may jump out in front of your vehicle. They also sometimes stand on a road at nighttime and are blinded by your headlights, therefore don’t move as you approach.
 cattle-warning-sign-uk Like almost all countries, cattle are farmed. Most will be fenced, but some will escape, and you are likely to find them on the road in the Scottish highlands.
 cattle-grid-warning-sign-uk Cattle in some areas, like parts of Wales and Scotland, are controlled by grids, just like they are, for example in inland areas of Australia.This sign warns that a grid is coming. Grids can be slippery when it’s cold or wet, and are particularly dangerous for motorbikes and cyclists in those conditions.
 by-pass-cattle-grid-sign-uk Cattle grids will also stop horses, so often there is a bypass gate for horse-drawn vehicles.
 horse-warning-sign-uk Horses might be roaming free in some areas in the UK.
 horse-riders-warning-sign-uk If you see this sign it’s likely you are near to an equestrian facility. Be careful around horses being ridden. If you startle the horse it could bolt and throw the rider into the path of traffic.
 horse-drawn-vehicle-warning-sign-uk In some areas horse-drawn vehicles are occasionally used and you might see this very uncommon sign. Take the same care around horses as you would if there was a rider on one.
 otters-warning-sign-uk Otters are found in many countries. Their populations are recovering strongly, and they are becoming common again. Roadkill deaths are the leading causes of population decline in otters.
 farm-traffic-sign-uk The Farm Traffic sign can indicate stock trucks, tractors, large agricultural machinery, and also farmers driving stock between fields.
 police-dogs-on-patrol-warning-sign-uk Police dogs may be on patrol if you see this sign.
 red-squirrels-warning-sign-uk Squirrels come in two flavours in the UK: grey (common American introduced species), and red (uncommon native species). You’ll see grey squirrels in the cities and countryside, whereas red squirrels’ population is declining rapidly and are mostly only found in woodlands, and primarily in Scotland and on the Isle of Wight. As they are fairly endangered in the UK you might see these signs to alert you of their presence.
 sheep-warning-sign-uk Sheep are everywhere in the UK, but may be wandering on roads in highland areas.
 toad-warning-sign-uk Some roads separate areas of wetland, and toads migrating between them can end up squashed. Some councils build tunnels under the road for the toads, but this isn’t practical everywhere. Take care where you see these signs.
 wild-fowl-warning-sign-uk Ducks, and most waterbirds, have zero road sense. When ducklings hatch, hapless mothers lead them across roads to get to new food sources and ponds. Be prepared to stop as they are unlikely to move quickly out of your way. Larger birds such as mute swans can be big enough to smash a windscreen if you hit them at speed.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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