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Drivers are puzzled by mysterious traffic signs at traffic lights


Highlights: Drivers are puzzled by mysterious traffic signs at traffic lights. The signs are not relevant for private drivers, but for drivers of public transport vehicles. The forest of signs in Germany seems to be unfathomable. For example, only in Heidelberg is there a flashing “WF” for turning. In Stuttgart, there is an “A’ (requirement) instead of the “K” in Berlin. In Ulm, a glowing triangle means “continue driving but give way”

As of: February 22, 2024, 7:20 p.m

By: Christoph Gschoßmann, Julian Mayr




While waiting at a traffic light, a driver stumbled over it: strange 'K' triggers guesswork on social networks.

This is what it really means.

Bremen – A traffic light on German roads basically gives road users very clear instructions.

Green means free travel and red means the exact opposite.

However, there are often signs in front of traffic lights that many drivers may not be familiar with, such as a green wave.

Another example shows that traffic lights can also cause confusion among drivers.

A road user discovered an unfamiliar sign while waiting at a traffic light and shared a photo of it on the social network Reddit.

The community shed light on the matter.

Mysterious “K” on traffic lights: Not relevant for private road users

“What does this “K” mean? the post author asked the Reddit community.

“I saw it turning on and off every now and then,” he added.

Below he posted a picture showing a white glowing “K”.

Users of the forum, which deals with topics related to traffic regulations, immediately began to share their knowledge.

They agreed: The sign is not intended for private drivers, but for drivers of public transport vehicles.

They don't always have it easy in their everyday working life and are sometimes exposed to physical attacks.

This is what the “K” sign on the traffic lights means for public transport

One user simply described the sign as a “public transport request light,” while another went into more detail.

He explained that it was a “signal from the sphere of BOStrab” (Ordinance on the Construction and Operation of Trams, editor).

However, it is not a nationwide regulation, but a local tradition that can only be found in some cities in the Ruhr area such as Bochum, Duisburg, Essen, Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Bottrop and Munich.

The specific meaning of the “K” is “contact established”, or more colloquially “green/driving command is coming”.

If the sign lights up, it means that a bus or tram has registered at the traffic lights and is immediately given free travel.

This is a “confirmation for drivers that the transmission worked.”

A driver puzzled over the meaning of the illuminated “K” at a traffic light.

The internet enlightens him.

© Gottfried Czepluch/Imago Screenshot r/ironloco

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The attentive user even added: “If there is a stop there, doors should be closed and made ready (although there would be other signals for this such as “F” or dispatch signal A 1, or the illuminated letter T for door).”

Unfathomable forest of signs: Regionally different traffic signs for trams

Anyone who remembers their driving license theory lessons and didn't notice anything about it shouldn't be surprised: these signs are actually irrelevant for drivers.

However, there are other signs for trams that were not mentioned by Reddit users:

  • Vertical bars or green lights allow the tram driver to go straight.

  • Horizontal bars mean waiting.

  • Diagonal lines allow you to turn in the corresponding direction.

  • A glowing dot means the driver must wait for the next sign.

  • For the tram driver, a glowing triangle means “continue driving but give way”.

Users reported what this type of signal looks like in their region: In Ulm and Stuttgart, they write, there is an “A” (requirement) instead of the “K”.

In Berlin, according to another user, there is a box that is operated with a special key.

In Germany there are dozens of other symbols that only apply regionally.

For example, only in Hesse is there a flashing S, only in Heidelberg is there a “WF” for turning.

The forest of signs in Germany seems to be unfathomable.

Traffic signs are sometimes located on private property, such as the parking lot of a supermarket.

But do the road traffic regulations actually apply there?

The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model for optimization at his own discretion.

All information has been carefully checked. 

Find out more about our AI principles here.

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2024-02-22

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