Traffic Symbols in the Philippines

By Contributing Writer

The Philippines has two major roads. The first, Maharlika Highway, links all of the major Philippine islands and stretches from Luzon to Mindanao. Toll ways such as the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road comprise the second major road. All other roads in the Philippines are provincial link roads and highways, city avenues or roads and regional highways.

International Traffic Signs

The Philippines mostly uses international traffic signs; however, some signs are colored pink instead of using traditional colors recorded in the Vienna Convention: yellow, red, black, orange, green, blue and white. These signs have a triangular shape and are equilateral on all sides. Red outlines the traffic sign to make it more noticeable to both drivers and pedestrians alike. The children’s crossing sign is common in the Philippines. It shows two children—a boy and a girl—either crossing the street or standing with schoolbags. Because of the terrain, traffic signs for falling rocks also are common in the Philippines. Rocks or pebbles falling over a mountainside are on the sign.

Traffic Signs as Driving Signals

Drivers in the Philippines use the right side of the road, so the country implements rules for left or right turns while driving. The symbols for these show an arrow pointing to the left or the right, forming a 90-degree angle. The same traffic sign outlined and crossed out in bright red prohibits such a turn. The stop sign’s main color is red, outlined by white, designed to catch the attention of drivers. The country also uses pedestrian signs such as pedestrian crossing “walk” and “don’t walk” signs and many others.

Traffic Sign Shapes

There are four traffic sign shapes in the Philippines. The first is the circle, used as an advance-warning signal. Railroads usually have traffic signs in this shape. This shape may also be prohibitive. Triangle and diamond traffic signs warn drivers about the road ahead. An example of this is “general caution,” symbolized by an exclamation point. The symbol means the driver should be careful when crossing the road. Obstacles such as sharp turns, bends or curves also are an example. Arrows pointing to the direction of the road symbolize them. Upside down equilateral triangles are exclusively for yield signs. This means the driver should be ready to give way to other vehicles approaching. Intersections have these signs to prevent accidents.

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