“What’s with the red car on the left in this sign?“, Andy used to wonder. It took a while for him to realize that this sign means “No overtaking by all vehicles” or as we Canadians would say, “No passing“.
The confusion of this sign stems from Andy (and my own) previous Canadian roadsign knowledge which taught us that a slash through a sign means that you can’t do the stated action (Such as a slash through a “P” means “No parking”). We have come to realize that the slashes through a sign over here mean “End of…”, so this sign really means “End of no overtaking restriction“. In other words, “You can go ahead and pass now“. Before Andy started driving in Oman, he thought this sign meant that there is some kind of “red indicator” on your car that lets you know when the water in your car is getting low! (Shows you how much I know about cars, ha!ha!-Andy) he had no idea (at that time) that flash floods can come suddenly and water can block highways. Therefore, there are red poles on the side of the roads in spots that sometimes get water and when the water reaches the red poles on the side of the road, it is advised to stop. Interesting!
Andy thought these signs had something to do with approaching side roads. (?!) This was only explained to him [at the time of his post] recently (after driving more than a year in Oman!) in a similar type of report about “confusing signs in oman” in a free weekly newspaper mostly for ex-pats here in Oman. Who would ever guess that this sign means “300 meters to roundabout“?! (2 dashes means “200 meters to roundabout” and 1 dash means, you guessed it, ”100 meters to the roundabout”.) This may be more confusing to Canadians than people of other nationalities due to the fact that we are more used to traffic signals everywhere rather than roundabouts. I wonder if they have these types of signs in other countries…
One might guess that this sign means “No musical instruments are to be played in this area“, but it (now) obviously means “No sounding of horn“. I find it strange because no car has a horn that looks like that! It really looks more like some ancient type of horn-like musical instrument to me!
In case you have never encountered his blog http://andyinoman.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/confusing-signs-in-oman-at-least-to-a-small-town-canadian-boy/ I love Andy. I am stealing his awesome sign post but giving him full credit. I wrote nothing here at all. nHe has more sign posts. I just have no camera right now so please forgive for all my lame pic nabbing.
And from Steve http://www.livinginoman.com/2010/02/name-that-traffic-sign.html: "You may think this sign means ‘wadi crossing’. No, no, no - according to the ROP website (under warning signs), this is in fact, an ‘Irish crossing’.A bit of rummaging on the Internet suggests this may be the correct engineering term, but it is impossible to find information on its rather dubious etymology. Regardless, we should all adopt this alternative terminology, if nothing else to watch the confused faces of non-native English speakers.