Signing and Marking

Signing and Marking

Key Facts:

  • Traffic signs and road markings are used to control and guide traffic and to promote road safety. Markings also provide road space for cyclists, indicate road type (e.g. whether a road is single or dual carriageway, and slow drivers via “psychological traffic calming”. It is important that signs and markings giving effect to traffic regulation orders, and intended to be read from a moving vehicle, are of sufficient size to enable drivers to recognise them and assimilate the information in time. Signs and markings should only be used where they can usefully serve these functions.

(DfT et al, 1982)

  • Recent trials have shown that the simplification of road signs and markings can reduce RTI numbers, traffic flow and average traffic speeds. A 48.6 per cent annual reduction in RTIs was seen following one improvement scheme.

(A. Quimby and J. Castle, 2006)

  • Evidence is mounting that roadside advertising, particularly video advertising, also causes driver distraction.

(V.L. Neale et al., 2005)

  • Research indicates that the rates of return from road safety schemes involving improved road markings and signage, in all types of location on the highway, lead to a safer travelling environment for road users.In a study of the impacts of the implementation of 250 new 20 mph zones in residential areas it was found that average speeds had fallen by nine miles per hour and that the annual number of RTIs had fallen by 60 per cent. However, the use of 20 mph signs alone, without associated traffic calming methods, only led to speed reductions, on average, of about one mile per hour.Too many signs and markings are thought to cause cluttering and mental overload. Poorly designed and placed signs and their over-provision detract from the environment, and affect road safety by distracting the road user. The unnecessary or over use of warning signs is also thought to result in driver disrespect for signs and markings and so therefore should be removed.

(AECOM, 2009)

  • Repeater and vehicle activated signs and signals are a way of making drivers aware of the road environment and the speed at which they are driving. Vehicle activated signs have been used for speed limit indication and to inform drivers of an upcoming hazard of restriction.

(DfT, 2002)

  • There is thought to be a correlation between the quality and condition of signs and markings and the number of RTIs occurring on UK roads.

(RSMA, 2007)

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:08 AM
  • Last Update: 01 May 2013, 05:59 PM