This sign has potential for display in exhibitions about the city landscape, advertising and the urban environment. Its significance is located in its design and use as a visual communication tool. It is a pointer to the diversity of use in the city, and of the growing demands placed on our urban environment.
Road signs are now ubiquitous in our urban environment, linked to the development and spread in the twentieth century of motor vehicles and the services that grew to support them. In the 1930s the larger number of vehicles and their increasing speed meant an increasing number of road accidents. The need for regulations to improve traffic flow and safety was recognised, creating a plethora of signs and other car and road side related material. Individual petrol companies developed advertising signs that became well known like the Shell sign and the Mobil Flying Pegasus. To achieve a consistent approach to road signage in Australia the Standards Association of Australia issued the Standard Road sign code in 1935 (1).
Australian road signs are based on the Australian Standards AS1743 and 1744 which contain manufacturing standards for signs and details of standard alphabets.
Most countries now use pictorial symbols to help international travellers navigate with few problems. A standard set of international pictorial symbols has been developed for most road conditions and speed limits making use of signs, symbols and arrows to provide easy identification and clarity of instruction.
Some of the types of traffic signs used on Australian roads are reflected in this collection. Regulatory signs: informing road users about traffic laws or regulations. Temporary warning signs: mainly used on road work sites to warn road users of temporary hazardous conditions which could endanger road users, personnel or plant engaged in the road works. Recreational signs: used to inform the public of rules and regulations as well as to direct people to various facilities and structures located within those areas. Warning signs: used to warn traffic of potentially hazardous conditions.
This is one of the regulatory signs that informs road users about traffic laws or regulations that if not complied with would be an offence.
Signs, including road signs have become part of the contemporary visual landscape with Australian artists like Rosalie Gascoigne and Richard Tipping commenting and playing with their form and meaning.
1p 77, Cass, Terry, Thematic history of Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), Roads and Traffic Authority, 2006
Cass, Terry Thematic history of Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/environment/downloads/heritage/rta_thematic_history.pdf