Avoid getting a penalty ticket by obeying these road traffic signs

Close-up view of the prohibitory sign

There’s nothing worse than running an errand, heading back to your car and finding a bright yellow parking ticket slapped onto your windscreen. It’s enough to turn any day sour. Unfortunately parking restrictions aren’t always the easiest things to understand, especially during Bank Holidays, if you’re in an unfamiliar area or you’re in a rush. Many people who receive parking tickets, don’t realise that they’re doing anything wrong at the time. 

In order to ensure you don’t get a parking ticket, you might need to brush up on your road traffic sign knowledge as signs like this, hold the key to unlocking how long you can park for, where you can park and how likely you are to get a ticket. 

Read on for the traffic signs you need to obey if you want to avoid making a traffic warden very happy. 

Parking bay signs

Some parking bays are free. Some require payment at the ticket machine, and some may even require a permit. When you see a parking bay, the sign should indicate who or what is permitted to park there. For example, a car for motorcars, solo motorcycles, car and caravans and good vehicles. 

Regardless of what vehicle you drive, your car should always be parked within the lines of the bay otherwise you might get a ticket. If your vehicle is too large and possibly restricting other bays then you may also receive a ticket. It’s always advisable to go and locate a bay that is better suited to your vehicle. 

Permit holders only

This sign is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s something that is easily overlooked. The area is for vehicles with permits ONLY. No other vehicles are permitted to park at any other time.

Payment methods

If you’re visiting an unfamiliar area, then take the time to check out the parking signs that will tell you how to pay or where to pay for your parking ticket. This could be a machine, a phone call or a text message that will then send you confirmation of your ticket and your payment.

Parking on the footway

Normally, parking on the footpath is considered a fineable offence as your vehicle could be blocking the pavement and therefore putting pedestrians at risk. However there may be locations where it is permitted and signage indicating this. A blue sign with P and a car that is half parked on a kerb indicates that being parked partially on the footway is acceptable. The other type is where the car is parked fully on the footway. Make sure you can tell the difference between the two. 

Keep Clear markings

These marking are usually found on the road, so you must be vigilant to ensure you don’t miss them. Usually these are found outside schools – this is for the safety of the children and also places such as outside fire stations or ambulance stations. 


A clearways sign – a red circle with a blue background and red X through it – indicates no stopping at any time. 

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.