Don`t Cry Wolf With Vehicle Activated Signs, says ABD
Road safety group the Association of British Drivers has today voiced its support for more Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS), re-iterating a similar call earlier this year by Richard Brunstrom, head of road policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers. 
VASs are the new, self-illuminating road signs that flash a roadside safety message to drivers as they approach a specific hazard. VASs have been shown to be powerful tools in alerting drivers to problems, but with increasing numbers of local authorities using them almost indiscriminately, the ABD is worried that drivers will begin to ignore them.
Mark McArthur-Christie, Road Safety Spokesman, explained:
"We`re now starting to see VASs used as a catch-all solution for problems. Many counties are introducing blanket lower speed limits, and as soon as the limit goes in, it is immediately reinforced with a series of VASs. We`re concerned that a valuable currency is being debased."
Brian Gregory, the ABD`s Chairman, said
"VASs have a key role to play, but it's vital that we use them appropriately. They must only be placed where there is a specific problem to which drivers need to be alerted. If they are placed everywhere, drivers will ignore them all — it's the old story of the little boy who cried wolf."
Notes For Editors
 As reported in the Sunday Mirror, 13th March 2005. See our PR433
Examples of good use of VAS:
Examples of bad use of VAS:
- A447 Stapleton, Leicestershire: A VAS that flashes up a speed camera warning sign, located just prior to the entrance to a garden centre and petrol station situated on a left hand bend.
- A446 Wishaw, Warwickshire: Bend warning sign
Examples where VAS would be more effective than an existing speed camera:
- Oxfordshire and Suffolk: Countless VASs that simply remind people of an inappropriately low speed limit where no specific hazard exists.
- A360 Wiltshire: Numerous warning signs for obvious bends, signs triggered by too low a speed.
- Wood End, Warwickshire: 30mph VAS on a minor road on the outskirts of a village at a location where 40mph would be safe, and placed several hundred yards from a more hazardous spot where 30mph is necessary.
- A1 Stubbock Hill, Lincolnshire: Speed camera situated on busy dual carriageway just before a farm entrance. The speed camera actually distracts drivers from the real hazard. Safety would be improved by replacing the camera with a tractor activated warning sign.
Further Notes for Editors