5 ways speed signs can help prevent road crashes

A safe road needs adequate space for slow-moving and fast-moving vehicles and humans on foot. Traffic engineers are supposed to design ways to plan routes with proper digital speed limit signs. An efficient mix of these speed feedback signs can help efficiently move traffic. But when the existing road designs are not optimal, and there is no scope for enlarging a road through a thoroughfare due to construction on both sides. This is a common problem worldwide where roads existed in villages, but now these villages have grown into small cities.

How effective is enforcement to control traffic on Indian roads?

Enforcement improves compliance through a method of punishing the violating drivers through fines. But manual enforcement is inefficient in India due to the high labor needs of the operation. While enforcement is an oft used stick, a carrot in the form of a digital speed limit sign should also be used. Using the speed feedback sign will allow the driver to comply with legislation and to control their speed to make the road safer. But this digital enforcement also needs to be managed by the government apparatus through approvals and regular verifications. Here are five ways that can help make drivers calmer and the roads safer.

Implement design changes

Merely installing a digital speed limit sign on the road will not help unless decided after a bit of research. The government machinery needs to work from the bottom-up instead and not focus only on adding large structural changes to an area like flyovers and highways. A speed feedback sign placed along the road where drivers usually speed up will help control their behavior. A system of reporting can be added to the design and a photograph of the speed demon to be handled by police later.

Many types of rubber devices to create traffic circles to slow cars can also be installed with the speed feedback sign to reduce oncoming traffic speed. The digital speed limit sign can also inform drivers about narrow streets ahead along with speed humps and tables to offer no choice to vehicles but to slow down. These installations have been used in the past by most municipalities in their efforts to reduce speed. Now they can be combined with technology to ensure that compliance to the speed limits is complete.

Improve awareness

Most times, drivers do not need to be treated as criminals who will increase speed if a human police officer is not around. A digital speed limit sign or a speed feedback sign used in India’s busy cities has been shown to reduce approximately 30% of the drivers. These signs provide information to the driver and improve their awareness of their speeds and driving behavior. It allows them time to correct their speeds and drive safely. This over a period of time will prove to slow down all drivers in an area and make the road safe for all.

Encourage interaction

The digital speed limit signs, other than alerting the driver of their increased speed, can also offer variable messages. The interactive feedback of the speed feedback sign can encourage drivers who already follow safe driving to continue. A simple ‘good job’ can make the driver want to keep getting the same message every day, even on a familiar route. Even graphics can be used like a smiling face, frowning face, or flashing strobes to further interact with drivers to encourage them to drive safely along with the text.

Increase manual presence

This is undoubtedly the quickest way to bring down errant drivers’ speed in any area and the most expensive method. It might not always be possible to add more police officers in an area or pull away resources from another spot. But speed feedback signs placed at strategic places around a city can be easily monitored by a central command center. These digital speed limit signs also provide data that can be analyzed to use police presence at only targeted locations. This will ensure the optimal management of resources possible with the use of technology.

Use automated enforcement

The smart cities of tomorrow can be created with the technology already available in the form of a digital speed limit sign. These speed feedback signs provide options to gain real-time images of particular vehicles that are engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. These images can then be used to penalize and warn drivers. This will prevent speeding incidents in the future and make a vulnerable road much safer for all kinds of users. These signs used at school zones, near hospitals, work zones, and pedestrian crossings can make our roads and cities safe.