Electric corner signs alert riders

speed alert sign

Signs that light up and display a safety alert and message if you are riding too fast for the corner are being trialled in the UK.

British company TWM Traffic Control Systems have developed the LED signs that include a radar sensor.

Be alert, not alarmed

But don’t worry! The smart alert signs are not designed to issue speeding tickets, says TWM spokesmen Chris Rayner. At least for now!

“It’s purely advisory,” he assures us.

“It’s to aid riders or drivers and alert them to the potential dangers ahead. What you can do is have a function to record the activity along the road, traffic counts, speeds etc.”

The sign will display the rider’s speed and an alert such as SLOW DOWN, or CRASH SITE and flash amber LEDs.

When the vehicle then slows down and the speed falls below the secondary threshold limit, the sign displays THANK YOU with the real-time speed.

Warning signs

It’s similar to speed alert signs used around Australia and a Texas University project that developed stop signs that light up as a vehicle approaches.

Safer stop signs alert
Texas electronic stop signs

The TWM signs may help riders handle dangerous decreasing radius corners, but we wonder what they consider a safe corner speed for each vehicle.

For example, a motorcycle could easily handle a corner at a higher speed than a sports car which would be better than an SUV which would be better than a truck…!

Chris says the signs would allow the authorities to monitor the impact of approach speeds.

“The averages and 85th percentiles will all be calculated so further measures can be put in place if needed,” he says.

Our concern is that this could lead lower speed limits!

“We have been doing similar signage for various dangers, hazards and speed indication since 2002,” Chris says.

“I’m a biker myself and we have been supplying Isle of Man with some of our DayBright units for enhanced pedestrian crossings … I’m speaking to them to see if the crash site (sign) is something they could utilise as well.”

While the signs may be advisory now, we wonder how long before authorities use them to issue speeding tickets!

8 Comments

  1. Getting sick of theses get rich quick inventors in recent years. There was one similar to this in the black spur in victoria for a few years but havent seen it for some time now.

  2. These were in use in the UK in 2006.
    Had a big effect on my attitude to being just a few k’s over on narrow suburban roads.
    Great to see them in use here.

  3. Distraction ?
    I would rather be warned that I am over the speed limit than be told that I was over the speed limit. I no longer enjoy riding / driving like I used to, I am too worried about how much my trip is going to cost me, what is the speed limit on this road ?, why are the cars not doing the speed limit, did I miss a sign ?, I better slow down just in case, just went past a camera, was I just under or was I just over.
    If I drive to the speedo, I get abuse from drivers behind, If I drive to the gps I wonder If I am speeding ?

  4. On a slightly different note, when I started using in-vehicle GPS, I would check the accuracy of both of these against my speedo reading to show me the actual variance of my car instruments vs reality. Even when my vehicles came with navigation screens, I would use a mobile GPS to establish variance of the display vs reality and the on-road electronic signs.
    My GPS always agreed with the advisory signs – until last year! A trip into NSW showed me that the electronic signs now overstated my speed in a similar way to my car speed.
    Back to Qld and the electronic signs matched my GPS.
    I’ve just returned from a ride to Victoria and found that the signs indicating speed were uniformly overstating my actual speed in, at least, Victoria, NSW and Qld!
    I’ve checked two different mobile GPS units and my phone GPS and their speeds remain accurate.
    Obviously “Someone” has decided that the electronic speed signs shouldn’t encourage people to wonder if their speedos are overestimating their actual speed…

  5. Might have been handy years ago when I was young and stupid when I used to play “double it plus 10” on speed advisory signs. Then again, looking up and waiting for your speed reading would actually just be a more dangerous distraction

  6. Just more proof of the total lack of skill/nous of the modern driver/rider. No one is taught the finer arts of driving these days, only how to pass a test. Back in the day you would have been told to treat every other person on the road as a lunatic, how to use a gearbox properly, slow into a bend and fast coming out and most importantly you would have been told about the tiny piece of rubber that operates the brakes!!

  7. Instead of properly designing corners and road furniture etc etc they think adding something that is ultimately a dangerous distraction to a place you should be looking every where but up at a sign is a good idea that will reduce accidents and save lives.
    I almost crashed because I was blinded by one of those stupid signs when it automatically lit up as I approached a bend , just as I was scanning the road surface and looking for things that might jump out this thing lit up like sudden high beams from the darkness.
    My complaint to the relevant authority about the position and brightness of course fell on deaf ears as they’re the safety experts.

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