Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier

Apply to install a VAS or SID illuminated sign

30mph VAS Sign

Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) and Speed Indicator Devices (SID) are signs with illuminated messages that flash when vehicles are travelling above a set trigger speed.

The Local Highway Panels will only install VAS/SID where there is a significant speeding issue or where there is a personal injury collision pattern related to speed. Parishes, District, Borough or the City may however now buy and install their own sign through a licencing process giving more flexibility on installation locations.

If the Parish would like to buy a new sign for installation on the highway then the following information needs to be included within the licence: -

  • An application form need to be completed for the licence application process, a link is available at the bottom of this webpage.
  • Please gain written support from your County Councillor for your application.
  • Name of the requestor and the name of the overall authority responsible for the sign going forward needs to be included.
  • The sign is to be placed at least 70m within the speed limit.
  • The sign is to be either solar powered or battery powered but not mains powered.
  • Each application must include a street map of the proposed location for the sign.
  • The sign must be installed so the edge of the sign is 450mm min from edge of carriageway.
    • For a 450mm wide sign erected, the verge must be a minimum of 1.0m
    • For a 450mm wide sign erected, the footway must be a minimum of 1.6m to allow buggies and wheelchairs to pass.
    • For a 600mm wide sign erected, the verge must be a minimum of 1.2m
    • For a 600mm wide sign erected, the footway must be a minimum of 1.8m to allow buggies and wheelchairs to pass.
    • No sign larger than 600mm wide should be erected.
  • Sign should be placed in locations where it will be easy to access, maintain or move.
  • The existing speed limit should be in place for at least 12 months for a VAS/SID to be considered.
  • Please include the size of the sign, the material the sign is made of and the details of the foundations to be used.
  • The applicant must state if the sign will be on an existing post or new post.
  • Mounting height needs to be either 2.4m on a cycleway, 2.1m on a footway or 1.5m on a verge where people do not tend to walk.
  • The device should not be within close proximity of another VAS sign, neither should it be close to any other flashing equipment such as a Pedestrian crossing or wig wag unit due to safety reasons.
  • The sign roundel must be no larger than 600m and should display either the 30mph roundel with or without ‘slow down’ message. It can be a SID which either shows the ‘face’ or the actual speed of drivers however this is to be set at a maximum activation speed of 45mph to prevent drivers using it to record their speed for racing purposes.

Consideration should be given to: -

  • As no parish funded sign will be mains powered the following needs to be considered.
    • The size of the VAS in terms of LEDs (the more LEDs used the more power required).
    • The amount of ‘on time’ per activation, longer display periods will consume more power or battery life.
    • The number of activations in a 24 hours period - more activations require more battery power.
    • Physical site location - open area, under trees, shady, near buildings for solar or wind.
    • Additional battery packs.
  • Consideration for insuring the equipment in the event of theft or damage.
  • Consideration needs to be given to the location of the sign to prevent visibility obstruction to junction and driveways.
  • The sign must not be placed on a bend or where it does not achieve sufficient forward visibility to function correctly.
  • Training by the manufacturer for the correct use of the sign installation and calibration in the case of use within different posted speed limit sites.
  • The manufacturers guarantee period and whether an option is available to purchase an extended warranty.
  • Equipment should be installed by a qualified competent person with the required public liability insurance to work on the highway.

Please see the documents section below for an example of the design for a VAS.

Please see list of highway approved suppliers for a VAS/SID:  -

All information should be recorded on the application for a licence.

Apply to install a VAS or SID illuminated sign

Once installed please inform Local.HighwayPanels@essexhighways.org, so it can be added to the Highways System to get electrically tested as appropriate.