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New traffic signs to be introduced from 1st June

Published : 26 May 2020, 00:52

Updated : 26 May 2020, 10:26

  DF Report

File Photo Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

The new Road Traffic Act will come into force on 1 June 2020 and, as a result, approximately fifty new traffic signs will be introduced in Finland, said an official press release on Monday.

The appearance of numerous old signs will also be updated and changes will be made to road markings.

The newcomers include signs for bicycle streets, charging points and merging of traffic lanes, all of which are also connected to the new traffic regulations.

The reforms to the Road Transport Act takes into account both current and future transport needs. In particular, a number of extra cycling-related traffic signs are now available.

In addition to the bicycle street mentioned earlier, these new signs include, for example, the bicycle lane sign and the requirement to give way to cyclists at road crossings.

Although the new Road Traffic Act introduces quite a wide range of new signs, some of them probably won’t be seen on Finnish roads on a wide scale.

For example, the so-called “studded tyre ban”' sign will not be used on roads at all. There is also now a separate minimum-speed sign, but no decisions have yet been made as to where this sign will be used.

The transition period for the introduction of the new traffic signs will in most cases last 10 years. This will mean that for a number of years both the new and the old traffic signs will be visible on the roads.

The principle is that signs are replaced when they come to the end of their life-cycle or when traffic arrangements require them to be changed.

In addition to completely new traffic signs, many old traffic signs have also been updated slightly in the new Road Traffic Act.

Experts at the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency believe that, in spite of all the changes, the majority of people will intuitively understand the new signs.

“I don’t believe that people will be left scratching their heads when they come across a new traffic sign. Of course, it is always worth updating one’s knowledge and reminding oneself of the meaning of the old signs,” said Tuomas Österman, a road traffic control specialist at the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.