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Annexes:   A.   Hazard Warning Signs
    B.   Blackout Signs, Warning, Enforcement and Relaxation Signs
    C.   Guide Signs
Related documents:
  STANAG 2002 NBC - Warning Signs for the Marking of Contaminated or Dangerous Land Areas, Complete Equipment, Supplies and Stores
  STANAG 2010 ENGR - Military Load Classification Markings
  STANAG 2021 ENGR - Military Computation of Bridge, Ferry, Raft and Vehicle Classifications
  STANAG 2025 M&T - Basic Military Road Traffic Regulations
  STANAG 2035 OP - Signing of Headquarters and Installations
  STANAG 2036 ENGR - Land Mine Laying, Marking, Recording and Reporting Procedures
  STANAG 2154 M&T - Regulations for Military Motor Vehicle Movement by Road
  STANAG 2159 M&T - Identification of Movement Control and Traffic Control Personnel and Agencies
  AAP-6   Military Symbols for Land Based Systems
European Rules Concerning Road Traffic Signs and Signals (1974) (1)


1. The aim of this agreement is to standardize the method and procedures used on military routes and route road networks by the NATO Forces.


2. Participating nations agree to adopt the methods and procedures outlined in this Agreement as a basis for the classification, the signing and the lighting of military routes and route road networks, and for ensuring the visibility of traffic control personnel at night.

(1) This document arises from the Geneva Convention and incorporates subsequent protocols and agreements


3. The Agreement is divided into five parts
  Part 1 - Route Classification
  Part 2 - Route Signing
  Part 3 - Lighting
  Part 4 - Visibility of Military Traffic Control Personnel at Night
  Part 5 - List of Relevant Definitions




4. Route classification enables the authorities responsible for the organization of movement and transport to assess more easily the characteristic of a route network or routes. The following factors are involved, which are subsequently explained in detail
  a. Width of route in metres or feet (see paragraph 5).
  b. Type of route (see paragraph 6).
  c. Military load classification (see paragraphs 7, 8, and 9).
  d. Overhead clearance in metres or feet (see paragraph 10).
  e. Obstructions to traffic, if any (see paragraph 13).


5. a. The width of a route, for any given section, is that of the narrowest part of its travelled way and is expressed in meters or feet.
  b. The number of lanes is determined by the width of the travelled way. The width of lane normally required for wheeled vehicles is estimated at 3.50 m (11.5 ft.) and for tracked combat vehicles 4 m (13 ft.).
  c. According to the number of lanes, a road or route can be classified as follows:
    (1) Limited Access - permits passage of isolated vehicles of appropriate width and in one direction only.

Single Lane - permits use only in one direction at any one time. Passing or movement in the opposite direction is impossible.

    (3) Single Flow - permits passage of a column of vehicles and allows isolated vehicles to pass or travel in the opposite direction at predetermined points. It is desirable that such a route/road be at least 1+1/2 lanes wide.
    (4) Double Flow - permits two columns of vehicles to proceed simultaneously. Such a route/road must be at least 2 lanes wide.

d. The table and diagram below illustrates the various measurements applicable to road width and traffic flow possibilities



  A. Width of traveled way.
  B. Width of lane.
  C. Width of hard shoulder.
  D. Width of grading.



6. On the basis of their ability to withstand the effects of the weather, routes are divided into three types:
  a. Type X--All-Weather Route. Such a route has the following characteristics:
    (1)   With reasonable maintenance, passable throughout the year to a volume of traffic never appreciably less than its maximum capacity.
    (2)   Normally formed of roads which have waterproof surfaces and are only slightly affected by rain, frost, thaw, or heat.
    (3)   Never closed because of weather effects other than snow or flood blockage
  b. Type Y--Limited All-Weather Route. Such a route has the following characteristics:
    (1)   With reasonable maintenance, passable throughout the year but at times the volume of traffic is considerably less than maximum capacity.
    (2)   Normally formed of roads which do not have waterproof surface and are considerably affected by rain, frost, thaw, or heat.
    (3)   Closed for short periods of up to one day at a time by adverse weather condition during which heavy use of the road would probably lead to complete collapse.
  c. Type Z--Fair-Weather Route. Such a route has the following characteristics:
    (1)   Passable only in fair weather
    (2)   So seriously affected by adverse conditions that the route may remain closed for long periods.
    (3)   Improvement of such a route can only be achieved by construction or realignment


7. The military load classification of a route is a class number which represents the safe load carrying capacity of the route and indicates the maximum vehicle class that can be accepted under normal conditions. (The maximum class of vehicles which can safely use the route and will usually be that of the weakest bridge on the route--see STANAG 2021).

8. To facilitate movement, routes included in a low class network but over which heavier equipment can be moved are regrouped in broad categories

  a.   Average traffic routes   -   Class 50.
  b.   Heavy traffic routes   -   Class 80.
  c.   Very heavy traffic routes   -   Class 120.

9. Whenever possible the basic military route network should include very heavy traffic routes


10. Overhead clearance is the least vertical distance between the route/road surface and any obstruction above it which denies use of the route/road to all vehicles or loads which exceed this height.


11. Route classification may be expressed by a formula incorporating the factors given in paras 5 to 10 above. For example, the formula for a 10 m (33 ft) wide "all weather" route with a class 80 load restriction, a height restriction of 4 m (13 ft) may be expressed as follows:

    10m/x/80/4m or 33ft/x/80/13ft.

12. It must be noted that the lowest classification encountered on a route will determine the overall classification of that route.

13. If there is a temporary obstruction or single obstruction other than a bridge, or should there be special conditions described below, the overall classification will not be altered. However, these factors should be included in the route classification formula as they could affect movement over a route until conditions return to normal. The symbols to be included is the formula are as follows:

  a. Temporary or Single Obstructions: the formula for a route will be followed by"(OB)".
  b. Snow Blockage: where snow blockage on a route is regular, recurrent and serious, the formula for classifying a route will be followed by "(T)".
    For example:    
    6 m/Y/50(T) and or 20 ft/Y/50 (T) and
    6 m/Y/50(OB) (T)   20 ft/Y/50 (OB) (T).

  c. Flooding: where flooding is regular, recurrent and serious, the formula for classifying a route will be followed by "(W)". For example:
    6 m/Y/50 (W) and or 20 ft/Y/50 (W) and
    6 m/Y/N/50 (OB) (W)   20 ft/Y/50 (OB) (W).


14. The traffic flow is the total number of vehicles passing a given point in a given time. It is expressed as vehicles per hour (VPH) ( AAP-6). It is dependent on the factors above. From these are derived:

  a. Route/Road Capacity (Expressed in Vehicles). The maximum traffic flow (VPH) in one direction over a particular road or route. It cannot be greater than the maximum traffic flow at the most restricted point on the road or route (When the road is to be used in both directions this should be noted and the two capacities can be reduced accordingly).
  b. Route/Road Capacity (Expressed in Tons). The maximum number of tons that can be moved in one direction over a particular road or route in one hour. It is the product of the Route Capacity (Vehicles) and the average payload of the vehicles using the road or route. (When the road is to be used in both directions this should be noted and the two capacities can be reduced accordingly).
  c. Potential. For planning purposes it would be useful that the potential of a route should be expressed in diagrams, tables and maps (by road sections) by:
    (1) Road capacity (in vehicles per hour--one-way traffic or two-way traffic).
    (2) Number of lanes (normal vehicles).
    (3) Load class (tracked vehicles, one-way).(Example: 900/2/80/780 means a route with a one-way traffic capacity of 900 VPH, 2 lanes, class 80; or a two-way traffic capacity of 780 VPH).




15. The purpose of a route signing system is to enable movement by day and by night without difficulty on any territory, including the blackout zone, whether controlled by the operational military command or a national authority. This system will be capable of being integrated with any existing civil system to meet any specifically military requirement.


16. The authority for military route signing is vested in the senior headquarters controlling the particular route network. This headquarters will be responsible for ensuring that military route signing is integrated with any existing civil system, and is in accord with any existing agreements with national authorities. Routes may be signed by a unit on its own initiative under the conditions prescribed by the commander or the movement instructions and in accordance with para. 15 above.


17. In any area under military control, the additional signing inside such areas to be set up as required, will be in accordance with the system for military route signing as laid down in this agreement. All military route signs fall into one of three categories
  a. Hazard Signs. Signs used to indicate traffic hazards, e.g., dangerous corners, steep hills, or crossroads. In the communication and rear combat zones, military hazards signs should only be used in accordance with existing agreements with national authorities, and in very exceptional circumstances.
  b. Regulatory Signs. Signs used by competent authority to regulate and control traffic (AAP-6). They may also be used to define the light line. (Examples of such signs are in Annex B).

Guide Signs. Signs used to indicate locations, distances, directions, routes and similar information (AAP-6) (Examples of these signs are in Annex C).

Note:   Contaminated, Dangerous Land Areas and Minefields

    The signs for these areas are not within the scope of STANAG 2174. (Reference should be made to STANAGs 2002 and 2036.)



18. All military route signs are to conform with the signs included in the Geneva Convention as far as possible in shape, size, and colouring. Details are shown in Annexes A, B, and C.
19. Hazard Warning Signs. Hazard warning signs will be triangular in shape and will conform to the Geneva Convention. Where no suitable symbol exists within the Geneva Convention, a rectangular placard is to be affixed below the hazard warning sign with an explanatory legend. Details are shown in Annex A.
20. Regulatory Signs. Regulatory signs will conform to the shape, size, and colours of Geneva Convention signs with the following exceptions:
  a. Military Load Classification Markings. Bridges will be marked with Military Load Classification Marking in accordance with STANAG 2010.
  b. Blackout Signs:
    (1) Blackout Warning Sign. This sign will be based on the Geneva Convention hazard warning sign with the legend and any distance indication mounted on rectangular plaques beneath the warning signs.
    (2) Blackout Enforcement Sign. This sign will have the Geneva Convention prohibitory sign with the words "VEHICLES LIGHTS FORBIDDEN" on a plaque affixed below the prohibitory sign.
    (3) Blackout End Sign. Details of these signs are in Annex B.
  c. Special Provisions. For civilian purposes, the military might be requested to erect signs or to ask the civil authorities to do so. If provision is made for suitable signs in the existing system, they must be used.
21. Guide Signs. Guide signs will be rectangular in shape with the long axis vertical. They will have a black background on which the legend or symbol will be superimposed in white. Exceptions to this rule are as follows:
  a. Detour Signs. The detour sign will be a black arrow, barred or not, on a white square, placed with one diagonal vertical; as illustrated in Annex C. The number of the diverted main route will be shown either:
    (1) Painted in black above the arrow, or
    (2) Added under the square by means of the small panels already provided for the guide signs for routes.
  b. Directional Discs. These will be circular in shape and will be inscribed with a black arrow, on a white background. (Examples are in Annex C).
    (1) The discs will be used in addition to other guide signs to indicate the direction of a route. These may be used with the distinguishing signs of amajor formation or a large unit to indicate the route of that formation or unit.
    (2) Battalions and lower formations may not use this directional disc. They may, however, use directional arrows (see subparagraph c. below).
  c. Directional Arrows. These signs are to be used by battalions and lower units. The arrows should be black on a white background and bear the identification symbol of the unit in question. They may be of a similar type to that shown in Annex C. The arrows should be installed shortly before the passage of the column and should be removed as soon as possible after the end of the column has passed.
  d. Military Casualty Evacuation Route Signs:
    (1) These will normally be rectangular signs with a white background on which the following information will be inscribed in red:
      (a) Directional arrow.
      (b) Cross or crescent.
      (c) The word "Military" in the language of the force erecting the sign.
      (d) Unit or subunit designation in abbreviated form or using military symbols.
      (e) Additional information, such as formation or national markings.
    (2) As an alternative, a normal directional disc with four segments cut out to give a cruciform shape or a directional disc with a crescent may be used as a background. The information shown will be similar to that above.
    (3) Examples of these signs are in Annex C.
  e. Civilian Casualty Evacuation Route Signs. These may be a Geneva Convention Informative sign, blue in colour with the silhouette of an ambulance in white with red cross or crescent on the silhouette. A supplementary placard bearing the words "Civilian Casualty Evacuation Route" in the language of the host nation, is affixed beneath the sign. (An illustration of this sign is in Annex C).
  f. For HQs and Dumps the signs will also be marked with the appropriate symbols in accordance with AAP-6 (See also STANAG 2035).
  g. For Traffic Posts and Regulating Headquarters. Guide signs will consist of the agreed operational conventional symbol together with the direction and distance to the Traffic Post or Regulating Headquarters indicating there on. (See AAP-6).
22. Alternative Colour in Snow Conditions. In constructing purely military signs, yellow may be used instead of white if the sign is to be used during prolonged snowfall conditions, or is to be permanently erected in an area which is annually subject to prolonged snowfalls.


23. Signs must be sufficiently large to be easily read but need not be constructed to a standard size except that
  a. Signs for international use are not to be less than 40 cm x 33 cm (16 in x 13 in).
  b. Military Load Classification Markings are to conform to the dimension specified in STANAG 2010.
  c. Directional discs are not to be less than 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and will have eight holes drilled at equal intervals around the circumference to allow the disc to be erected with the arrow pointing in the appropriate direction.


24. Route Identification Numbers.
  a. Each axial and lateral route will be allotted one route number, which is to be used to describe the route throughout its length.
  b. Axial routes will be given odd numbers and are shown on a tracing or map by continuous lines.
  c. Lateral routes will be given an even number and are shown on a tracing or map by broken lines.
  d. Connecting routes will be given a number formulated on b. or c. above followed by a serial number and will be shown on a tracing or map by dotted lines.
  e. The Theatre Commander is responsible for allotting blocks of numbers to the Army Group, etc. operating in his theatre, in accordance with paragraphs 24.a. to d. above.
  f. Formation (Brigade or equivalent and above) axis may be signed.
    (1) In the case of routes of the manoeuvre network (axial or lateral) by supplementing the route number with a separate and removable formation sign, letter, colour, or emblem. These additional signs should be used only as a temporary measure
    (2) In all other cases with the removable formation sign (letter, colour, or emblem).

25. Military Routes Markers
  a. The legend on a route marker (i.e., a guide sign used to indicate a route) will consist of the route number on an appropriate directional disc.
  b. Commanders may supplement for their own purposes the route number system with a pictorial symbol and/or name (e.g. dog, hen).
  c. Route markers should show the direction of the traffic. In this case of axial routes, differentiation between the stream of traffic moving to the front and the stream moving to the rear will be by the use of different types of arrows. The stream moving to the front will be indicated by a plain arrow; that to the rear by an arrow with a bar at its tail. On route signs for lateral routes, the standard letters N, E, S, W, NE, SE, NW, and Sw will be used to indicate the general direction of movement of each traffic stream.
  d. Examples of military route markers are given in Annex C.


26. The military signs described above should be placed so that they provide adequate warning and reaction time for military drivers but do not obscure existing civilian signs. As a general rule, the placement of signs will conform to the following guidelines:
  a. Signs shall be placed on that side of the road used by the traffic, 0.60 m (2 ft) off the travelled way, and the sign panels should be from 1 to 2m (3 to 7 ft) above the level of the road.
  b. Hazard signs should be placed approximately 150 m (160 yards) in advance of the hazards.
  c. Regulatory signs should be placed at the exact location at which the regulation applies, but panels used as warnings should be placed at a convenient distance from the point where the regulation is applicable; this distance may be indicated on the panel (e.g., Blackout 500 m [550 yards]).
  d. Guide signs should be placed in such a manner as to eliminate possible confusion at road junctions; if necessary, both sides of the road to be followed will be signed, and in any event confirmatory guide signs will be placed 150 m (160 yards) after the junction.
  e. Detour signs, when used in conjunction with other general traffic signs, should be placed beside the general sign approximately 150 m (160 yards) in advance of the detour, and on that side (left or right) of the general sign which corresponds to the new direction to be taken.



27. The conditions under which military traffic will move at night will be determined by the Commander in relation to the enemy threat, and, as far as possible, with due regard to regulations in force in the host country. Such conditions may be directly imposed on operators by this threat (especially in the case of air raid warnings). These conditions may be as follows:
  a. Normal Lighting Conditions. Normal lighting is prescribed or authorized by the low of a given country without restrictions for military reasons.
  b. Reduced Lighting Conditions. The expression "Reduced Lighting Conditions" implies that the brightness of all exterior and interior lights must be reduced by power reduction or screening in such a way that the direction or reflected light visible to an aerial observer is limited to a minimum which will permit military vehicles, either singly or in column:
    (1) To travel as fast as possible compatible with safety.
    (2) To brake in time.
    (3) To see the side of the road.
  c. Blackout Conditions. The expression "Blackout Conditions" implies either:
    (1) Total blackout, in which all lights are extinguished, or
    (2) Partial blackout, in which lights are used which cannot be spotted by enemy observation, but which prevent collision by showing the position of the vehicle to either road users.


28. The appropriate authority responsible for military route signing in an area will specify those signs which must be illuminated. Primary consideration will be given to danger or warning signs and signs indicating a change of direction. Under the various lighting conditions outlined above, signs shall be illuminated as follows:


Normal Lighting Conditions. Under normal lighting conditions, signs must be clearly visible during the hours of darkness and in any other condition of restricted visibility.


Reduced Light Conditions. Under these conditions the positioning of the signs and the methods adopted to render them visible (illumination, reflection) must enable them to be seen by drivers whose vehicles have lights fitted with screening devices.

  c. Blackout Conditions. Under blackout conditions the requirement for any system of illuminating route/road signs are as follows:
    (1) The route/road traffic sign will be provided with an upper mask which would prevent the light from being seen from above.
    (2) The intensity of the light illuminating the route/road traffic sign will be such that it would not be possible for a pilot flying higher than 150 m (500 ft) to locate the sign or the reflection of the light on other adjacent surfaces.
    (3) Where possible, the light will be oriented that to truck drivers sitting in the cabs of their vehicles, it would be visible at a minimum distance of 100 m (110 yards) and readable at a distance of 30 m (33 yards).


29. It is not considered necessary to standardize the equipment to be used; however, the following characteristics are desirable. The equipment should:

  a. Be capable of providing the illumination for a minimum period of 15 hours without refuelling or change of batteries.
  b. Permit rapid and easy replacement of the power source under wartime conditions.
  c. Be shock-resistant, fireproof, and damp and weatherproof.
  d. Be simple to operate.
  e. When based on an independent light source, be of light weight, easy to store, and easy to transport in small vehicles.
  f. Be easy and quick to place in operation.



The light line will be indicated by a BLACKOUT panel preceded by two warning panels corresponding to the example shown in Annex B. These warning panels will be placed to the best advantage in relation to the situation and the nature of the ground, in accordance with the instructions of the Command responsible for traffic control in the area in question.
Locations of panels will be:

  a. The first, preferably at a distance varying between 1 km (1,100 yards) and 500 m (550 yards).
  b. The second, preferably at a distance varying between 500 m (550 yards) and 200 m (220 yards).
At the end of the restriction a relaxation sign as illustrated in Annex B will be displayed.
31. These distances are given as an indication only; it may be useful in certain cases to spread these panels over a much greater distance. However, the distance between the first warning panel and the sign indicating the light line must under no circumstances exceed 10 km (7 miles). In the black section of the rectangular warning the distances separating this panel from the sign indicating the light line will be shown in white figures.




32. It will be the responsibility of each NATO country to ensure that military traffic control personnel, when on duty, are readily visible to drivers at night, whether under Normal Lighting, Reduced Lighting, or Blackout Conditions.


33. Traffic control personnel, in addition to wearing the distinguishing cuff, will be equipped with a luminous or illuminated appliance for directing the movement of traffic. This appliance must comply with the visibility requirements appropriate to condition of movement at night in force at the time.




34. The military load classification of a route is a class number which represents the safe load carrying capacity of the route and indicates the maximum vehicles class that can be accepted under normal conditions.


35. Overhead clearance is the least vertical distance between the route/road surface and any obstruction above it which denies use of the route/road to all vehicles or loads, which exceed this height.


36. The road formula shows, in a combination of letters and figures, the main characteristics of a road section that are expressed as follows:
  a. Limiting factors.
  b. Width of travelled way.
  c. Obstructions, if applicable.


37. This STANAG will be considered to have been implemented when the necessary orders/instructions bringing into use the documents mentioned in this Agreement, have been issued to the forces concerned.
(Edition No 4)


Military Signs not included in the Geneva Convention

Black symbol or legend on a white background affixed beneath Geneva Convention general hazard warning sign.



In such cases the language or languages used will be determined by the authority erecting the sign.



(Edition No 4)



1. Blackout warning, enforcement, and relaxation signs are illustrated below.
2. The warning sign shall indicate the distance from the commencement of the blackout enforcement area.


3. The enforcement sign will indicate the distance for which the Blackout restrictions are operative.



(Edition No 4)



1. ROUTE MARKERS. The following are examples of route markers (colours are black and white):





NOTES: a. Figures 1A to 7A show the normal route and detour markers.
  b. Figures 1B to 5B show the alternative route markers which can be prepared with directional discs and Figures 6B and 7B show alternate detour signs. In these cases the indication of the route markers is shown under the directional disc or sign.
  a. Directional discs (black arrow on white circular background) will be used to indicate the following on axial and lateral routes.


  b. Directional discs used on axial routes with stream of traffic moving from the front line to the rear is to be of the "barred arrow". They are to give the same indications as in Figures 1 through 7 above.
  c. Normal directional discs (i.e., those with a black arrow on a white circular background) are to be used in all cases except on detours, when the detour signs (i.e., those with a black arrow on a white square background, placed with one diagonal vertical) are to be used.
  d. The use of the directional discs as given above in no way supersedes the use of regulatory signs provided for in the Geneva Convention 1973 and in Annex B. These regulatory signs are to be used in addition to the directional discs which only indicate a route to be followed. In due course, special signs may be used to replace temporary directional discs.




  a. Signs Indicating Evacuating Routes for Military Casualties--Medical Unit Signs.

  b. Signs indicating evacuation routes for civilian casualties.



  STANAG 2174
(Edition 4)





DA: The reservations are as follows:
    a. Page 6, para. 8. For classification of route networks DA applies the following categories:
      - Average traffic routes:   Class 30
      - Heavy traffic routes:   Class 60
      - Very heavy traffic routes:   Class 120
    b. Pages 12-14, paras. 27, 28, 29 and 32, Annex D.For the time being DA does not apply blackout material, equipment for illuminating signs and balisage
GR: The reservations are as follows:
    a. The width of a single road/route for wheeled vehicles and for tracked combat vehicles is narrower for certain routes in the GR area
    b. The proposed lighting system is not yet used in Greece
NL: NL cannot execute para. 27.b. because the military vehicles cannot fully meet the requirement on reducing lights
PO: Only applicable on roads classified in peacetime like "Military Roads"
TU: Part 3 (lighting) of the STANAG will not be implemented





RMP Manual (Army Code No. 62040) and Road Movement (Army Code No. 71268)



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