Sign makers must adhere to road traffic sign rules

As an association, one of ISA-UK’s key roles is to represent the sign and graphics industry and our members on a range of areas. Working with other trade bodies and professional partners, we share information and best practice and identify issues that affect multiple sectors.

We recently met with representatives from organisations that have an interest in road traffic signs, including the Highway Teams Maintenance Association and the Road Safety Markings Association.

One of the most common areas where sign companies fall foul of road traffic sign legislation was discussed and it quickly became clear that this could lead to real trouble for businesses who don’t pay attention to the rules.

Legislation passed in 2013 under BS EN 12899 states that it is unlawful to place on the market (ie. not just install) any fixed, vertical road traffic signs, where conformity has not been demonstrated with a CE mark.

Any object or device (fixed or portable) designed to convey warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description to traffic, is classified as a road traffic sign.

This law also applies to road traffic signs on any roads to which the public has access, including car parks, motorway services, airports and hotels.

Unfortunately, it is apparent that many sign companies are not aware of the legislation concerning road traffic signs.

“Our colleagues in the specialist road traffic sector have asked me to remind ISA-UK members, and the wider signs and graphics community, that by not adhering to BS EN 12899 you are breaking the law,” says David Catanach, director of ISA-UK. “The signage standard has been developed to ensure that drivers are presented with clear instructions on the roads, in order to avoid accidents and ensure the safety of both drivers and pedestrians.”

Full details can be found at