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All Brits should know this one road sign that will test most drivers' knowledge

All Brits should know this one road sign that will test most drivers' knowledge

You might think you're a pro on the roads but you may have never seen this sign

Sure, you’re an expert on the roads. You can whip round to the McDonald’s drive-thru like an absolute pro.

But are you really that mate who knows everything there is to know about driving?

It turns out that despite how long some of us may spend in our cars, we don’t always know what some signs mean – no matter how important they are.

Most of them do tend to be pretty self-explanatory and are drilled in to our heads by instructors.

But some of them aren’t as common as the likes of a roundabout sign, meaning that a lot of drivers’ will have their knowledge tested if they do come across them.

Even if you spend every day behind the wheel, there’s a particular road sign you might have never come across. A blue circle with a white outline and big white numbers. Ring any bells?

Yeah, me neither. But it does have a very specific meaning. Do you recognise this:

Here's the road sign.

Ok, so it is to tell you what speed you need to be going but it’s not a warning that it’s illegal to go over a certain speed, it’s actually telling you it’s illegal to travel under a certain speed.

Yep, a minimum speed limit sign.

You might be wondering why you’d need one of those, given that the usual tendency – for better or worse – amongst motorists is to drive at or over the speed limit.

Well, these signs exist in places where there are specific reasons for which driving under a set speed might be dangerous or cause congestion.

For example, tunnels.

The rules of the minimum speed limit are explained on driving instruction website PassMeFast, where it states: “There are not, currently, many such restrictions in place; roads that do limit MPH—such as the Mersey Tunnel—can be identified by a sign.

Here's an explanation of the signs.
Department for Transport

“Similar to maximum speed limit signs, in that they are circular and contain a number, they can be differentiated by colour.

“Instead of the vibrant ‘red’ that we are more used to seeing (signifying prohibition) minimum speed limit signs sport a rim of blue.

“Blue signs are an indication of a mandatory instruction—in this case, ‘You must drive faster than this specific number in miles per hour’.”

Once you’ve reached the end, you’ll see the same sign with a red line through it to indicate that the minimum speed limit no longer applies.

If you fall foul of these signs, it’s much the same as if you break the speed limit by being over – points and a fine.

You might end up on a speed awareness course if you’re eligible, but you’ll probably be the only one there for going too slow.

Obviously, there are ways in which you could argue that you have no choice.

If you were impeded, stuck in traffic, or there were other extenuating circumstances, you could make a case for going under the limit.

Featured Image Credit: Seton/Rob Welham/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Topics: Driving, Cars