That Sign Doesn’t Belong Here

Some road signs look perfectly normal in one place, and downright odd in another.

I don’t think I ever saw a sign in India warning people about cows.  People just expect cows to walk on the road.  But in Northern Ireland, we would be fearful for the safety of the cattle and the motorists, so we get a warning.


We even get a warning about squirrels.  This one is in Mount Stewart.  If you ever get to County Down, make a point of visiting this grand old house and its beautiful gardens (click here for more details).

red squirrel sign

I spotted the next sign in Kyoto. It might be important to restrict rickshaws in Japan – not really much of an issue in Northern Ireland.

Japan sign no bike no rickshaws

The next two signs are from a picnic area in Northern Ireland.  The sign banning wine makes me sad – but maybe the dark colour outlaws red wine only?  Signs telling owners to pick up dog mess make me happy, but would you get the message from this one, or does it just look like a ban on goats standing beside fires?

Someone in London has given careful thought to the next three signs.

All London buses can be identified from above – and I didn’t know that until I photographed some buses on Oxford Street on my visit to the John Lewis roof garden last month.

roof of london bus

It might do your head in now as you try to read it, but the mirrored words in the next photo from Marylebone make perfect sense for a sign about reversing.

reversing sign marylebone lane

I’m finishing with a ban on skateboards.  The design is dynamic enough to make skateboarding attractive – just don’t even think of doing it in Spitalfields.

no skateboarding

So what signs does your country have that would seem strange to me?


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Great Photo essay.
    I think any useful road sign would seem strange in Sicily!
    But the Sicilian road sign that would seem odd anywhere has to be this one:


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I’ll let you know if I spot mysterious cinema signs anywhere else!


  2. That anti-skateboarding sign rocks 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim in Fiji says:

    I think you are right about the goat and the fire – not a good idea, so I’m so glad they have that sign. I agree about the coolness of the skateboarding one. The road signs in Fiji tend to be not so helpful – some of the worst, near me are the 2nd and 3rd photos in this post.


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Those Km-markers are a bit random!


  4. In Finland we got all kind of warning signs but these two should be most famous, elk warning sign
    And reindeer warning sign


    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I like the elk and reindeer signs. I read a report that some reindeer in Finland had been sprayed with fluorescent paint to make them more visible to drivers at night. Is that true? Do you know if it worked? Here is a link to the story :


      1. I actually don’t know if it helped as reindeers are only living above the article circle, which is around 400km north of where I am staying. I only heard about it from the news some time ago


  5. linnetmoss says:

    Enjoyed the graphic design of the animal signs. We have “deer crossing” signs everywhere with a very attractive stag leaping up. Sadly, they don’t work very well because the deer get hit on a regular basis.


  6. Karolyn Cooper says:

    I just googled “deer crossing” and saw a range of signs. Looks like North American and Irish deer are more energetic than British deer.


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