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Mandatory Signs

Written by Steve Hudgik

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The term "Mandatory Signs" designates a type of traffic control sign defined by the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals. A mandatory sign specifies a action that must be taken, as opposed to identifying actions that are prohibited. For example, a sign that states "Keep Right" would be a mandatory sign.

Mandatory signs designated by the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals are used in much of Europe and Asia. Neither the United States nor Canada have signed the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, and mandatory signs as specified in this convention are not used in either country.

The specified design is a blue circle with a white border and white symbols. Mandatory signs may also be white with a red border and black symbols.

Mandatory signs give directions such as:

  • Pass on Left
  • Snow Chains Required
  • Minimum Speed Limits
  • Compulsory Roundabout

Mandatory signs are also used on footpaths, bicycle paths and horse paths. For example, a mandatory sign might designate that the cycle lane is on the left of the path and the footpath is on the right.

Although mandatory signs are not used in the U.S. or Canada, signs specifying mandatory actions are used. For example, minimum speed limits are posted on some highways. These signs, however, use the same design as maximum speed limit signs. Signs are used to tell traffic to keep right, to specify bicycle lanes and to require that snow chains be used. The designs for all traffic control signs in the U.S. are set by the Federal Highway Administration and described in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

Some countries also have mandatory health and safety signs. These use the same design as traffic control signs, usually a blue sign with a white border and white symbols. Mandatory health and safety signs have messages such as:

custom path sign custom stay right sign
  • Keep Door Closed
  • Wash Hands
  • Eye Protection Required
  • Keep Area Clear
  • No Hardhat, No Boots, No Job
  • Respirators Required

In the U.S. these types of messages are typically communicated using ANSI Z535 compliant safety signs, such as danger, warning or caution signs, or by green safety message signs.

Making Mandatory Signs

When you need a mandatory sign, either for traffic control or for health and safety, turn to DuraLabel printers and tough-tested DuraLabel supplies. With DuraLabel you'll have mandatory signs that are resistant to even harsh outdoor weather conditions.

You'll also be able to make both standard and custom mandatory signs with ease. Your mandatory signs can just include a symbol within a circle, or also have a rectangular box with a text message below the circle.

Free Label Samples

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The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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