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A Regulatory Sign is a sign instructing you that you must or must not do something. Typically, regulatory signs in the UK are circular and are red or blue. As well as imposing speed limits, such signs may direct or ban certain turns, prohibit entry by one or more types of vehicle or prohibit stopping on the carriageway. Regulatory sign designs are specified by the law and in the UK the current legislation is The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016. Schedule 2 to the Regulations contain the standards for regulatory signs with Speed Limit Signs being covered in Schedule 10.
Speed Limit Sign
|Speed limit signs on the A416|
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Speed limits in both UK and Republic of Ireland are signed using white circular signs with a red border.
In the UK, the speeds are in miles per hour. The limits on the public highway range from 20 mph to 70 mph, in multiples of 10 mph, as the law only allows for this.
On private land, the law is a lot looser, with both DfT style signs expressing limits often as low as 3 mph, and non-regulation signs of all sorts of types.
In the Republic of Ireland the limits are in kilometres per hour, with the same basic style being used as the UK, but with a different, thinner, font used for the numerals and the addition of km/h under the number.
A typical example of a speed limit sign at the edge of Irish towns, this particular one on the R105 in Howth.
A non-compliant 15 mph sign on a public road off the B4418 at Talysarn, Caernarfonshire.