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GERMAN TRAFFIC SIGNS, SIGNALS, & MARKINGS
     
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SIGNS

Germany has a comprehensive and standardized traffic sign system. Most signs use international symbols. The sign system has been overhauled over the last decade to more closely conform with European standards.

Below, you will find a complete collection of German traffic signs with their official meaning and additional notes. These signs were gathered from a number of sources including the official German traffic code handbook and related websites.

Officially, German traffic signs are divided into three major categories: warning, regulation, and guidance. However, I have divided the signs into several additional categories and I've placed each sign where it most logically belongs regardless of its official designation.

In the German traffic code, each sign is assigned an official number. This number is used on traffic tickets and accident reports when a sign is involved in the incident. You can obtain the official sign number for each sign on this site by holding your mouse over the sign for a second (works with most web browsers).


Supplemental signs

The German sign system uses a fair amount of "Supplemental Signs" (Zusatzschild). These are black and white rectangular or square signs mounted below the parent sign. These signs modify or give additional information regarding the condition shown on the parent sign such as exemptions, restrictions, or more specific details. The most common supplemental signs are those for distances, such as the distance to the parent sign's condition or the duration of the condition:

Supplemental sign Supplemental sign
Distance to the condition
shown on the parent sign
Duration (length) of the condition
shown on the parent sign

Here are some examples to further explain these signs:

131
Supplemental sign
Sign 108
Supplemental sign
Sign 334
Supplemental sign
Sign 276
Supplemental sign
Traffic signals
100 meters ahead
Steep downgrade
next 3 kilometers
Autobahn ends
100 meters ahead
No passing zone
next 3 kilometers

Supplemental signs use symbols wherever possible. However, many supplemental signs use words. A complete list of supplemental sign vocabulary is provided at the end of the signs section (click here to go there.)


Warning signs

Sign 101 General danger
This sign marks an area where caution should be used. It is rarely used by itself. Instead, a supplemental sign is usually mounted beneath this sign with information on a specific hazard for which no other sign exists. Some examples of the more common combinations are below:
         
Sign 101
Supplemental sign
Sign 101
Supplemental sign
Sign 101
Supplemental sign
Sign 101
Supplemental sign
Sign 101
Supplemental sign
Winter sports permitted along roadway
This road may not be sanded/salted.
Rough road edge Accident hazard
Marks an area where a high number of accidents have occurred.
Tree overhang
Drivers of trucks and other high-profile vehicles should beware of low trees.
Frogs crossing
The road ahead is used by migrating frogs.

 

Sign 103 Sign 104 Sign 105 Sign 106
Curve to the right Curve to the left Double curve
First curve to the right.
Double curve
First curve to the left.

 

Sign 511-10   Sign 511-11   Sign 511-12
Sign 511-10   Sign 511-11   Sign 511-12
Lane shift
All lanes shift to the left
Lane shift
All lanes shift to the right

 

Sign 501-10   Sign 501-11   Sign 501-12
Sign 501-10   Sign 501-11   Sign 501-12
Lane crossover
All lanes cross over to left side of median
Lane crossover
All lanes cross over to right side of median

 

 
Sign 501-15   Sign 501-16   Sign 501-17
 
  Lane split
Left lane(s) crosses over to left side of median; right lane(s) remains on right side of median.
 

 

Sign 108 Sign 110 Sign 115 Sign 117
Steep downgrade
You should shift to a lower gear. The degree of the slope is shown.
Steep upgrade
The degree of the incline is shown.
Falling rocks
Reduce speed as rocks may be on the road. Do not stop or park.
Side wind
Reduce speed and prepare to steer into wind gusts. Avoid passing.

 

Sign 112 Sign 113 Sign 114 Sign 116
Uneven pavement/rough road Watch for ice
The road or bridge ahead freezes easily. Applicable in late Fall, Winter, and early Spring.
Road slippery when wet or dirty
Don't brake, accelerate, or steer suddenly.
Loose gravel

 

131 Sign 129 Sign 128
Road work
Drive carefully and prepare to stop for workers or machinery. Watch for slippery conditions due to dirt or mud on roadway.
Traffic signals ahead
Be prepared to stop.
Quay/riverbank
There is an unguarded quay or riverbank along the road. Use caution and stop/park your vehicle securely.
Movable bridge/drawbridge
Be prepared to stop.

 

Sign 133 Sign 134 Sign 350 Sign 136 Sign 356
Pedestrians
Marks an area where pedestrians may be on or near the road.
Pedestrian crossing ahead Pedestrian crossing
Located immediately at the crosswalk and indicates that pedestrians have the right-of-way.
Children
Posted near schools and playgrounds. Reduce speed and be prepared to stop quickly.
Crossing guards
School crossing guards may be directing traffic.

 

Sign 144 Sign 142 Sign 140
Low-flying aircraft
Be prepared for sudden noise. At night, be prepared for the glare of landing lights
Wild animals crossing
Reduce speed and use caution. Dip your headlights.
Domestic animals crossing
Watch for animals on the road and be prepared to stop if necessary. Also, be prepared for dirt or mud on the road.

 

Sign 124 Sign 138 Sign 145
Traffic congestion
Prepare to slow down or stop. Leave an area between traffic lanes for emergency vehicles.
Bicycle crossing Buses
Watch for buses entering or leaving the roadway.

 

Sign 125 Oncoming traffic/two-way traffic
Generally posted where oncoming traffic is unexpected, such as when coming from a one-way street to a two-way street.
       
Sign 522-30 Sign 522-33 Sign 522-32 Sign 522-31
Two-way traffic
One lane of traffic in each direction.
Two-way traffic
Two lanes of traffic in each direction.
Two-way traffic
One lane of traffic in your direction, two lanes of traffic in the opposite direction.
Two-way traffic
Two lanes of traffic in your direction, one lane of traffic in the opposite direction.

 

Sign 120 Sign 121 Sign 122
Roadway narrows Roadway narrows on right side Roadway narrows on left side

 

Sign 531-10   Sign 531-11   Sign 531-13   Sign 531-13
Sign 531-10   Sign 531-11   Sign 531-12   Sign 531-13
Left lane ends Right lane ends

 

Sign 541-10   Sign 541-11
Sign 541-10   Sign 541-11
Sign 551-20   Sign 551-21   Sign 551-22   Sign 551-23
Lane added to right side Lane added to left side The lanes from your roadway are
added to another roadway
You will not have to merge.

Railroad crossing signs

Sign 150 Sign 151
Guarded railroad crossing ahead
There are barricades or half barricades at the railroad crossing.
Unguarded railroad crossing ahead
There are no barricades at the railroad crossing. There may, however, be crossing signals.

 

Sign 153
Sign 153
  Sign 154
Sign 154
Sign 155
Sign 155
  Sign 156
Sign 156
Sign 159   Sign 160
Sign 161   Sign 162
Guarded railroad crossing
~240 meters ahead
Unguarded railroad crossing
~240 meters ahead
~160 meters to railroad crossing ~80 meters to railroad crossing

 

Sign 150
Supplemental
  Sign 151
Supplemental
Sign 150
Supplemental
  Sign 151
Supplemental
Railroad crossing to the left
at next intersection
Railroad crossing to the right
at next intersection

 

Sign 201-50 Sign 201-51 RR crossing signal
Sign 201-50
RR crossing flasher
Sign 201-50
RR crossing flasher
Railroad crossing
Marks the railroad crossing. You must stop here if a train is approaching.
Electrified railroad crossing
This railroad crossing has electrical wires overhead. High profile vehicles should exercise caution.
Railroad crossing signal
This is the standard railroad crossing signal in Germany. It functions like a traffic signal without the green light. When the yellow signal comes on, a train is approaching; prepare to stop. When the red comes on, you must stop. If there are barriers, they will lower after the signal turns red.
Railroad crossing flasher
This is the old standard railroad crossing signal in western Germany. You must stop when the red signal flashes.
Railroad crossing flasher
This is the old standard railroad crossing signal in eastern Germany. You must stop when the red signal flashes.

 


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This page and all of its contents are Copyright 2002 by Brian K. Purcell

NOTICE: The information contained on this site is provided "as-is". Although I make reasonable efforts to keep it updated, I make no guarantee regarding accuracy and assume no responsibility for inconveniences or other issues arising from its use. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.