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The History of Road Signs

THE HISTORY OF ROAD SIGNS Simplified and standardized signs facilitate international road travel and break down the barriers caused by language and cultural differences. 27 BC . The First Milestone The earliest road signs were milestones, giving distance or direction. The Romans erected stone columns throughout their empire showing the distance to Rome. YORK LONDON Middle Age Spread 1450 Multi-directional signs at intersections became common, offering directions to towns and cities. 1817 . Velocipedes to Penny Farthings The first bikes hit the road. Benz in the Road 1885 Karl Benz creates the Benz Patent Motorwagen - the first horseless carriage. 1895 Drivers Demand Directions The Italian Touring Club devised one of the first modern day road sign systems in 1895. Standardization Starts 1900 Congress of the International League of Touring Organizations in Paris considered proposals in 1900 for standardization of road signs and in Rome in 1908, the basic patterns of most traffic signs were set. 1909 .... Four for the Road In 1909, nine European ROUTE 66 governments agreed on the use of four pictorial symbols, indicating "bump", "curve", "intersection", and "grade-level railroad crossing" Re-born in the USA 1960 The United States developed its own road signage system, which was also adopted by several other nations. Beginning in the 1960s, North American signage began adopting international symbols and signs into its system. 1945 .... Material Benefit Since 1945, most road signs have been made from sheet aluminum with adhesive plastic coatings. These are normally retro- reflective for night-time and low-light visibility. 1965..... Anarchy in the UK The UK is the only country in Europe to not use kilometers as the unit of distance on road signs. 1977 Red Alert 1968 Prohibition signs in Europe have a red border. Red equals danger - the color red catches people's attention. There is no clear reason for this apart from the notion that blood is red, therefore red is a color that signifies pain and danger and should be used to warn people of the hazards ahead on the road network. Wrong Side of the Road For countries where people drive on the left, the convention stipulates that the traffic signs should be mirror images of those used in countries where people drive on the right. This practice is not systematically followed however in the four European left-hand drive countries: Cyprus, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. Sign of the Times 80s New generations of traffic signs based on big electronic displays can also change their symbols and provide intelligent behavior by means of sensors or by remote control. These "road beacon READ ME PLEASE systems" are based on RFID transponders buried in the tarmac to allow for on-board signaling Other Road Users and interaction between the car Animals shown on warning signs include moose, frogs, deer, ducks, cows, sheep, horses, polar bears (on Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northern part of Norway), and monkeys (in Gibraltar). and the road. Access for All 80s "medium" for transfering information ordinarily associated with visible signs is RIAS (Remote Infrared Audible Signage), for example "talking signs" for print-challenged (including blind/low-vision and illiterate) people. These are also infra-red transmitters serving the same purpose as the usual graphic signs when received by an appropriate device such as a hand-held receiver or one built 90s The Rise of GPS Automotive navigation systems were developed through the 1980s but it wasn't until the GPS service became available in the 1990s that systems became commercial. As good as these systems are, they are no substitute for a series of clear road signs! into a mobile phone. Europcar's continually expanding network meets your car hire needs with a network of more than 13,000 outlets worldwide in over 150 countries covering Europe, North and South America, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East. Europcar locations can be found in all major airports, railway stations, and large towns and cities. Europcar ***||

The History of Road Signs

shared by calmyourbeans on May 08
Road signs are fairly standardised today, but this wasn't always the case, and there are still some interesting outliers! Read on to learn more about the life and times of the humble road sign.




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