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Vehicle Activated Signs – VAS

Vehicle Activated Sign

A Little More about Vehicle Activated Signs

Yesterday a resident emailed me with some very sensible questions about Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS).  I have, of course, replied directly to them.  The questions and answers  below may be of interest to some residents.

Would we need a VAS for each speeding hot spot?

No, the type under consideration can be moved from place to place.  Slimbridge have one that they move between twenty locations.   The number of locations in Stinchcombe would probably be less than this.

An advantage of varying the location is that drivers do not become so accustomed to the VAS that they no longer notice it.

How is the VAS powered?

Mains, battery and solar options are available.  Rechargeable batteries might suit us best.  They would need to be changed every 2 weeks.

Who would change the batteries and move the VAS?

Speed Watch Group volunteers working to risk-assessed procedures would carry out these tasks.  Volunteers are also used in Slimbridge.  They advise using 2-3 people because the batteries are quite heavy.  The VAS and accessories can easily be transported in the back of a car.

What data would be logged?

The data logger records the time and speed of every vehicle  that passes the VAS.  It logs the vehicles in both directions, not only the way the sign is facing.  It does a similar job to human speed watch teams, but 24/7 and in all weathers. 

How would the data be used?

The data would be downloaded to a phone or laptop.  They would be processed using software supplied by the VAS manufacturer. 

Vehicle registrations are not recorded so the data would not lead directly to prosecutions.

As with data from human speed watch sessions, they would help the Police prioritise enforcement activities.

What is the point if VAS don’t identify speeders?

There is evidence that VAS speed reminders achieve reductions of between 2 mph and 6 mph in 85 percentile speed on 30 mph roads.  The 85 percentile speed is the speed at or below which 85% of vehicles are travelling. 

That might not sound like a big reduction but …

  • an average speed reduction of 1 mph reduces crash frequency by 5%
  • a pedestrian hit at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed compared with  a one in three chance at 35mph.

These figures come from the road safety charity, Brake

Is there a risk of the VAS being damaged or stolen?

Yes, there is a risk which we would try to minimise.  Slimbridge lock their VAS to a post.  The price of the post is included in the estimate.  The VAS would also be insured.  My research indicates that this would cost about £100 per year. 

How much operating experience is there locally?

Slimbridge purchased the Morelock MSID Vario and are pleased with it.

There is considerable experience with using this model in Stroud District.  The Stroud District Road Safety Group owned two, which they loaned out to members.  With the Group’s recent demise, they have been sold off to members. 

Other speed feedback products are available!


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