In your driving theory test you may get asked about the level crossing lights and signs.

As you are approaching a level crossing you will see warning signs. When you see these signs you should slow down and listen out for any sirens, as well as look at the warning lights that tell you when to stop. When you have reached the level crossing, you will see warning lights that signal you to stop when the train is approaching, or go once the train has passed.

Level Crossing Lights and Signs

Level crossing with a gate or barrier sign

This sign warns you when there is a level crossing ahead that uses barriers or gates that are either automatic or controlled by an operator.

Level crossing without a gate or barrier sign
This sign warns you when there is a level crossing ahead that has no gates or barriers. You must give way to trains when the warning lights tell you to stop.


Stop when lights show sign 

This sign will usually be shown with one of the above warning signs. It means that when you reach the level crossing, you must stop when the lights tell you to do so. This applies to both level crossings with a gate or barrier and without.


Level crossing safe height sign

This sign is more directed towards drivers of large vehicles. It lets you know if your vehicle is too tall to drive through the level crossing. If your vehicle is too tall then you must not pass the level crossing and instead find another route.



Automatic level crossing lights
On an automatic level crossing, amber lights will show as well as warning sounds, and then flashing red lights will appear too. This means that the train is approaching and the barriers are about to automatically come down, and you must stop.
The red lights will continue to flash while the train is passing, but the warning sounds may stop. You must not pass the level crossing whilst the red lights are still flashing.


Open level crossing lights & sign

An open level crossing means that there are no barriers or gates. This is indicated by the St Andrew’s cross above the sign or lights. The rules are the same as the automatic level crossing in that you must wait for the flashing red lights to turn off before you may go.


Level crossing countdown markers

A level crossing may also have countdown markers that indicate how close you are to reaching the level crossing.

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