Did you know there are more than 800,000 kilometres of road here in Australia? That's a lot to maintain, and while councils up and down the country do their bit, there's a chance you will come across a traffic sign now and again.

Their primary function is to inform road users when there's a potential hazard ahead, or to let them know of any changes in the condition of the road. If your particular project means you'll need a variety of road signs to do just that, you could find there are advantages to hiring exactly what you want. Last year alone, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development revealed that there were 1,205 road fatalities, so it's crucial that you do your bit to ensure safety at all times.

You can tell drivers exactly what the problem is, leaving little room for misinterpretation or error.

Here are some of the types of traffic sign you'll need to think about - and make a decision between - the next time you're carrying out improvement works:

Variable message signs

There are times when variable message signs (VMS) could be the best choice for your project. One of the main benefits is that you can tell drivers exactly what the problem is, leaving little room for misinterpretation or error.

Messages you might want to display include 'slow down' or 'animals in the road', depending of course on what your particular situation is. The best part is that the units are solar powered and self-charging, so you don't have to worry about them running out of power once they've been out for a few hours.

Barricades

Another type of traffic sign is the barricade, which is particularly effective at keeping vehicles and pedestrians out of areas they're not supposed to be. They are typically much larger than standard road signs and can easily be moved and fixed to one another depending on where you need them to be.

Some of the messages displayed on barricades include 'men at work' and 'end of roadworks', although there are various types available.

Manage traffic with the right sign for your needs.Manage traffic with the right sign for your needs.

Stop signs

One of the most important traffic signs you'll ever come across on the road displays the stop message. These are typically operated manually to control the flow of traffic in particularly hazardous areas.

Double-sided stop and go signs can be useful for directing traffic from opposite sides of the road. The best part is that they're easy to operate - providing of course you've got someone who's willing to do it!