Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS), are road side digital signs that display a message when they are approached by a driver exceeding the speed limit or going too fast for the type of road, especially when there is a hazard, e.g. a bend or a crossroads.
VAS is normally used to reduce a driver's speed by displaying a message 'Too Fast - Slow Down' together with the speed limit. They can also warn drivers of a safety camera if they are exceeding the speed limit. VAS does not record any data for prosecution purposes.
VAS can be moved from site to site and are a quick, inexpensive and effective way of tackling speed problems, and collisions caused by inappropriate speed. This reduces the need for other measures such as speed cushions, humps and tables. They can also help to reassure concerned residents.
Speed Indicator Displays (SID), are a mobile sign that displays a motorists speed and encourages drivers to keep within the speed limit. As well as displaying a motorists speed SID can also measure and record vehicle speeds. If drivers are within the speed limit their speed is displayed followed by a smiling face. However, if the speed displayed is above the speed limit then SID produces a disapproving frown. By displaying motorist's speeds SID aims to encourage motorists to comply with and respect speed limits.
SID is the friendly face of speed enforcement; an effective and non-threatening way to encourage motorist's to comply with speed limits and keep Essex's roads safe. SID is a successful speed management tool and is used in tandem with other speed management devices.
How Do They Work?
Each sign has a set detection point and a trigger speed. The sign detects the approach of a vehicle, and calculates its speed. If the vehicle is moving faster than the trigger speed, the sign will flash its message. At some sites in Essex, the sign records how many vehicles passed through its detection point and how many of those vehicles triggered the sign.
Why Is The Signface Missing?
Some locations have chosen to share one signface between them, and other areas have more than one site where there is a speed problem. In these cases, the fixed post remains in place and the signface is moved on a regular basis. Research has shown that moving the signface actually increases driver response to the sign.
Will I Be Sent A Speeding Ticket?
You will not be fined because you have set off a Vehicle Activated Speed Sign. The VAS signs are not part of the enforceable speed restriction and are there to remind you of the speed you should be travelling at. However, compliance with speed limits is checked by looking at the data gathered by the sign or by commissioning detection surveys. If a persistent problem is noted, you may find one day that Police Enforcement is being carried out.
Where local initiatives such as the use of SID signs or a Community Speedwatch group are in place, the number plates of persistent offenders will be noted and the vehicle owner will be contacted by Essex Police.