Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China


There has been an increasing concern about inactive drivers who would easily lead to road accidents and fatalities once return to driving. This study investigated the re-usability of traffic signs for inactive drivers with consideration of driver factors and cognitive sign features. Fifty-seven Hong Kong Chinese, who possessed a full driving license but had not driven for an extended period, comprehended the meanings and rated the cognitive features of 21 traffic signs. The re-usability performance of participants who had not driven for at least a year was similar to those who had not been driving since obtaining driving license. The re-usability of traffic signs was better when the signs were familiar, concrete, simple and meaningful. To improve sign re-usability, designers should consider the cognitive sign features, provide direct and unambiguous visualization for underlying concepts, make better use of eye-catching design elements, and proper juxtaposition of similar pictorials in sign design.


Main Subjects

Akeroyd, M., (1982). Progress in multiple choice scoring methods 1977-81. J. Further High. Educ., 6(3): 86-90 (5 pages).

ANSI Z535.3, (2002). Criteria for safety symbols. National electrical manufacturers association, Washington DC.

Banda, S.F.; Sichilongo, K., (2006). Analysis of the level of comprehension of chemical hazard labels: A case for Zambia. Sci. Total. Environ., 363(1-3): 22-27 (5 pages).

Bilingual Laws Information System, (2001). Road traffic (traffic control) regulations - Traffic signs,     Schedule 1, Chapter 374G. Hong Kong.

Bruyas, M.P.;Le Breton, B.; Pauzié, A., (1998). Ergonomic guidelines for the design of pictorial information.Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 21(5): 407-413 (7 pages).

Chan, A.H.S.; Han, S.H.; Ng, A.W.Y.; Park, W., (2009). Hong Kong Chinese and Korean comprehension of American security safety symbols. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 39(5): 835-850 (16 pages).

Chan, A.H.S.; Ng, A.W.Y., (2010a). Investigation of guessability of industrial safety signs: Effects of prospective-user factors and cognitive sign features. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 40(8): 689-697 (9 pages).

Chan, A.H.S.; Ng, A.W.Y., (2010b). Effects of sign characteristics and training methods on safety sign training effectiveness. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 53(11):1325-1346 (22 pages).

Chan, A.H.S.; Ng, A.W.Y., (2012). The guessing of mine safety signs meaning: Effects of user factors and cognitive sign features. Int. J. Occup. Safety Ergonom., 18(2): 195-208 (14 pages).

Chan, A.H.S.; Or, C.K.L., (2012). A Comparison of semantic and spatial stimulus-response compatibility effects for human-machine interface design. Eur. J. Ind. Eng., 6(5): 629-643 (15 pages).

Chi, C.F.; Dewi, R.S., (2014). Matching performance of vehicle icons in graphical and textual formats. Appl. Ergonom., 45(4): 904-916 (13 pages).

Dewar, R., (1988). Criteria for the design and evaluation of traffic sign symbols. Transportation research record, 1160:1-6 (6 pages).

Dora, C.; Philips, M., (2000). Transport, environmental and health. World health organization, Copenhagen.

Ellaway, A.; Macintyre, S.; Hiscock, R.; Kearns, A., (2003). In the driving seat: Psychosocial benefits from private motor vehicle transport compared to public transport. Transportation research part F, Psychology and behaviour, 6(3): 217-231 (15 pages).

Hakamies-Blomqvist, L.; Wahlström, B., (1998). Why do older drivers give up driving? Accid. Anal. Prev., 30(3): 305-312 (8 pages).

Hong Kong legislative council, (2005). Panel on transport, LC Paper No. CB (1)679/04-05.

ISO 3864-3, (2012). Graphical symbols-safety colours and safety signs - Part 3: Design principles for graphical symbols for use in safety signs. International organization for standardization, Switzerland.

ISO 9241-11, (1998). Ergonomics requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) Part 11: Guidance on usability. International organization for standardization, Switzerland.

Jordan, P.W., (1998). An introduction to usability. Taylor & Francis, London.

Kurniawan, S.H.; Zaphiris, P., (2001). Investigating the age effects on subjective assessments of traffic signs. Proceedings of the IIE annual conference, Dallas, TX, USA, 20-23 (4 pages).

Laughery, K.R.; Wogalter, M.S., (2014). A three-stage model summarizes product warning and environmental sign research. Safety Sci., 61: 3-10 (8 pages).

Liu, Y.C., (2005). A simulated study on the effects of information volume on traffic signs, viewing strategies and sign familiarity upon driver’s visual search performance. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 35(12):1147-1158 (12 pages).

Mayhorn, C.B., (2010). Preface to the special issue: Considering the warning context–new research methodologies and advances. Hum. Factor. Ergon. Man. Serv. Ind., 20(6): 481-483 (3 pages).

Newby, T., (1992). Training evaluation handbook. Gower, England.

Ng, A.W.Y.; Chan, A.H.S., (2007). The guessability of traffic signs: Effects of prospective-user factors and sign design features. Accid. Anal. Prev., 39(6): 1245-1257 (13 pages).

Ng, A.W.Y.; Chan, A.H.S., (2009). What makes an icon effective? IAENG transactions on engineering technologies: Special edition of the international multi conference of engineers and computer scientists, 2008, AO, S.I., Chan, A.H.S. and Katagiri, H. (eds), American Institute of Physics, 1089(1): 104-114 (11 pages).

Ng, A.W.Y.; Chan, A.H.S., (2011). Investigation of the effectiveness of traffic sign training in terms of training methods and sign characteristics. Traffic injury prevention, 12(3): 283-295 (13 pages).

Ng, A.W.Y.; Chan, A.H.S., (2013). Ergonomics recommendations for traffic sign design based on the comprehension performance of experienced drivers. In A.W.Y. Ng and A.H.S. Chan (eds.), Signs and symbols for workplace and public, Nova science publishers, 11-24 (13 pages).

Ng, A.W.Y.; Chan, A.H.S., (2015). Effects of user factors and sign referent characteristics in participatory construction safety sign redesign. Safety Sci., 74: 44-54 (11 pages).

Preece, J.; Rogers, Y.; Sharp, H.; Beryon, D.; Holland, S.; Carey, T., (1994). Human-computer interaction. Addison-Wesley, England.

Purduski, J.M.; Rys, M.J., (1999). Evaluations of a new advance flagger traffic sign. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 24(1): 107-114 (8 pages).

Santa-Rosa, J.G.; Fernandes, H., (2012). Application and analysis of the affinities diagram on the examination of usability problems among older adults. Work, 41(1): 328-332 (5 pages).

Siren, A.; Haustein, S., (2016). Driving cessation anno 2010 which older drivers give up their license and   why? Evidence from Denmark. J. Appl. Gerontol., 35(1): 18-38 (21 pages).

USA Today (2008). Highway Deaths Down in 35 States.  June 26, 2008.

Wang, A.H.; Chi, C.C., (2003). Effects of hazardous material symbol labeling and training on comprehension according to three types of educational specialization. Int. J. Ind. Ergonom., 31(5): 343-355 (13 pages).

Wogalter, M.S.; Laughery, K.R., (1996). Warning! Sign and label effectiveness. Curr. Dir. Psychol. Sci., 5(2): 33-37 (5 pages).

Zhang, T.; Chan, A.H.S., (2013). Traffic signs comprehension: a review of influential factors and future direction for research. Proceedings of the International multi conference of engineers and computer scientists 2013, Hong Kong, 1026-1030 (5 pages).

Zhang, T.; Chan, A.H.S., (2014). Facilitating the effectiveness of signs on roads. In  Ao, S.I.; Chan, A.H.S.; Katagiri, H.; L. Xu (eds.), IAENG transactions on engineering sciences: special issue of the international multi conference of Engineers and computer scientists 2013 and world congress on engineering 2013, CRC Press, 311 – 322 (12 pages).






International Journal of Human Capital in Urban Management (IJHCUM) welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in IJHCUM should be sent to the editorial office of IJHCUM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.

[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.

[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.

[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.

[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.

[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.

[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.