Quebec's French-only road signs to be replaced with pictograms

Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:23PM EDT
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Many road signs in Quebec will be speaking the language of pictures by the end of the year as the province moves to replace French words with pictograms.

The move, which comes after a petition for bilingual signs was tabled last year at the National Assembly, is done with safety in mind.

Quebec’s Charter of the French Language prevent the province from putting English on signage, unless “no symbol or pictograph exists that satisfies the requirements of health or public safety.”

“This is all about safety and security for all Quebecers and for visitors to Quebec,” Liberal MNA David Birnbaum told CTV Montreal. The rollout has required some spending as the technology behind some of the roads’ electronic message boards didn’t allow for pictograms.

“We have bought new technology so those message boards can now use pictograms, which are safer and clearer,” said Birnbaum. “On those message boards, when we have a good pictogram, we’ll remove the unilingual French wording, because it just confuses.”

The new pictogram signs are expected to be in place by the end of the year.

With a report from CTV Montreal’s Kelly Greig