THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEED FEEDBACK SIGNS FOR DRIVER’S AWARENESS AND SAFETY
Driver feedback signs are frequently used worldwide to improve drivers’ speed compliance and make the streets safe. While speed is a subjective term as a vehicle even when following the legal speed limits may be inappropriate depending upon road conditions. A speed feedback sign in an urban environment can reduce the speed
at crucial places like schools, residential areas, playgrounds, hospitals, etc. While there are a variety of signages, electronic signs, and enforcements in place to deter speeding drivers, addressing speeding in a long-lasting manner is a challenge for any transportation professional.
Reasons for Speed Signs
The use of speed feedback sign technology at
the most basic level alerts the driver of their oncoming speed. These driver feedback
signs use radar to ascertain the speed of the vehicle and provide
suitable information to the driver through LED signs. These signs use various
colors and blinking or moving text formats to gain the driver’s attention that
helps them adjust their speed accordingly. This helps the drivers in an area to
comply with the set regulations and help create safer road conditions for all road
Driver feedback signs and boards have been in use for many decades now. Novel technology has lately strengthened the speed feedback sign with better accuracy and performance under any weather conditions. The increased usage of these devices has also got researchers working to find relations between these display boards’ impact on driver behavior. Although experts across the board agree that law enforcement is the most effective speeding deterrent, costs and workforce limitations make it difficult. Statistics show that the sustained use of these signboards significantly reduces average speeds by around 14 kmph.
Law enforcement with speed feedback sign technology is the best option for significant speed reductions in the short term. The usage of driver feedback signs at different locations where speeding was prevalent earlier has shown speed reductions from 4.8 to 16.1 kmph. This significantly reduces the effect of damage in the case of an accident. This reduced speed could mean the difference between the life and death of a pedestrian if involved in the accident and the severity of the injuries. Studies have shown that the fatality percentage drops from 94 to 40 percent with a reduction of speed of only 20 kmph.
A major finding from the research was the qualitative sentiment generated in the community through the use of driver feedback signs to bring traffic safety. The community realizes that the occasional speed demon will be found even with the implementation of the best speed feedback sign technology. But they also understand that the overall goal of improving liveability increases. This helps the neighborhood include education, outreach and develop mutually acceptable solutions through consensus. The community thus works along with law enforcement that brings benefits all around.
The driver feedback signs use a variety of radar-based signages to alert the drivers of their speed. Most modern speed feedback signs show the road’s permissible speed limit along with a flashing and bright light to show ‘Your speed’ under it. These signs are almost impossible to overlook, and most drivers respond immediately and slow down. Many times, these speed signs also have a law enforcement officer nearby to enforce the speed limits. Thus, it is wise for drivers to adjust their driving behavior to avoid any further problems immediately.
Such a speed feedback sign aims to calm down the flow of traffic to a safe speed. It serves as effectively as a speed bump on the road which is a physical device to bring down the speed. The major benefit of using driver feedback signs is to play an advisory role for drivers exceeding speeds. Over time, this changes the driving behavior of the population instead of a more forceful way to reduce speed with a speed bump. Technology has also made it possible to detect speeds up to a range of 1,200 feet with accuracy.
A speed feedback sign or driver feedback signs are generally placed near schools, residential areas, hospitals, construction zones, etc. These signs provide a temporary way to control traffic in an area. They are easy to install on poles or trailers and provide connectivity to a central command center through mobile or wifi access. Their easy portability also ensures that they can be moved to a location where most needed quickly. The messages that they display can also be changed that helps to provide relevant messages to the drivers.
Any driver who sees these driver feedback signs or the speed feedback sign tends to slow down even when they are under the speed limit. This is an automatic response as the mind becomes alert that causes the body to respond by becoming aware of their surrounding. Driving instincts also come into play when drivers see a policeman on the road. Studies have shown that when these signs are combined with law enforcement personnel on the ground. The signs become much more effective in controlling speeds. Data captured through these signs can also be used in the legal system while providing instant feedback to the driver.
While research proves that the use of driver feedback signs or the speed feedback sign positively affects driving speeds. It helps drivers react as per their speed and change to a more suitable one almost immediately. However, a preoccupied driver’s attention is hard to catch. Such preoccupation could be busy on a phone call, applying makeup while driving, or even simply fiddling with the radio. Such activities can make an inattentive driver lose track of their speed and cause accidents.
Driver feedback signs and speed feedback signs have proven their traffic calming effectiveness over the years. These radar-based signs interact with the driver’s attention while helping them adjust their speeds as per legal and permissible limits. This technology can be a deterrent or an authoritative reminder for the driver to keep the roads safe. Portable radar signs are at present less effective in areas that have a wide range of multiple vehicles that are moving at different speeds. But technology will soon find a way to tackle it.