New EU-regulation road signs a mystery to Turkish drivers

February 21, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:28:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Following a country-wide effort to replace Turkish road markers with eu-regulation signs, a report has found that many of Turkey's most common road signs are now unrecognizable to the majority of the country's motorists.

The report, which was underwritten by the Highway traffic Security Committee (KTGK) and released on Tuesday, polled 478 Turkish drivers on their comprehension of 39 EU-regulation traffic signs and concluded that drivers often do not understand the new signage.

The motorists scored lowest when attempting to identify signs that meant “trucks forbidden” and “no entry,” recognizing the signs only 28 percent and 13 percent of the time, respectively. The poll also found recognition levels below 50 percent for the signs indicating construction, passing and non-passing zones. Motorists recognized pre-EU regulation signs more readily, scoring recognition levels between 70 percent and 90 percent when asked about the older versions.

Failure to recognize the new signage was also rife among Turkey's professional driving community, with less than 50 percent of the licensed bus and taxi drivers polled for the study able to identify the new signage without making any mistakes.

Much of Turkey's road signage changed last year as officials worked to implement an agreement with the EU to bring EU-regulation signage to the country's motorways. The KTGK report concludes that confusion about the new signage could threaten a decrease in per capita traffic deaths, which a January International Traffic Safety Data (IRTAD) report says has fallen roughly 50 percent over the last decade.

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