Traffic management

Cover of Review of Sign Size for Electronic Regulatory Speed Signs
Review of Sign Size for Electronic Regulatory Speed Signs
  • Publication no: AP-R473-15
  • ISBN: 978-1-925037-99-9
  • Published: 16 January 2015

This report documents research to determine if the size of electronic regulatory speed signs (ERSS), such as variable speed limit signs, could be reduced without adversely impacting efficiency of driving or safety.

A review of current practice found that the sizes of electronic regulatory speed signs (ERSS) used in Australia are largely similar to those described in Australian Standard AS 1742.4, although some minor differences were identified in a few areas, such as tunnels and managed motorways. Brightness requirements and the minimum number of red annuli from jurisdictions largely follow AS 5156. However, the number of red annuli and the required number of flashing annuli during speed limit changes still vary amongst jurisdictions.

Review of overseas literature and practice concluded that the sizes required for ERSSs are generally equivalent or larger than that of standard static speed signs. Many road agencies tend to recommend larger sign sizes and letter heights for ERSS than for standard static speed signs (e.g. the UK Department for Transport, the US Department of Transportation, NZTA and RMS).

The NS1929 team successfully achieved consensus on the harmonisation of ERSS specifications regarding sign size, sign brightness and sign annulus flashing requirements, with a number of recommendations provided to be considered by Austroads and relevant Australian Standard Committees.

  • Summary
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Methodology
  • 3. Review of Australian and New Zealand Practices
    • 3.1. Relevant Australian Standards and Austroads Guidelines
    • 3.2. Current Practices
      • 3.2.1. Summary of Current Practices
      • 3.2.2. Relevant Trials
    • 3.3. Other Aspects Relevant to ERSS Size
      • 3.3.1. Sign Brightness
      • 3.3.2. Annulus
    • 3.4. Summary
  • 4. Review of International Practices and Research
    • 4.1. Review of International Practices
      • 4.1.1. United Kingdom
      • 4.1.2. European Harmonisation Guidelines and Standards
      • 4.1.3. United States
      • 4.1.4. Ireland
    • 4.2. Relevant Research on VSL Sign Size and Legibility
    • 4.3. Summary
  • 5. Discussion
    • 5.1. Harmonisation of ERSS Specifications
    • 5.2. Additional Comments
  • 6. Conclusions and Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix A Jurisdictional Specifications on Sign Size
  • A.1 Australian Capital Territory
  • A.1.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.2 New South Wales
  • A.2.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.2.2 Documents and Relevant Requirements
  • A.2.3 Example Drawings
  • A.3 Northern Territory
  • A.3.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.4 Queensland
  • A.4.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.4.2 Documents and Relevant Requirements
  • A.4.3 Example Drawings
  • A.5 South Australia
  • A.5.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.6 Tasmania
  • A.6.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.6.2 Documents
  • A.7 Victoria
  • A.7.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.7.2 Documents and Relevant Requirements
  • A.8 Western Australia
  • A.8.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.8.2 Documents and Relevant Requirements
  • A.8.3 Example Drawings
  • A.9 New Zealand
  • A.9.1 Jurisdictional Feedback
  • A.9.2 Documents and Relevant Requirements
  • Appendix B Specifications on Sign Brightness
  • B.1 Additional Information from AS 5156
  • B.2 New South Wales
  • B.3 Queensland
  • B.4 South Australia
  • B.5 Victoria
  • Appendix C Jurisdictional Specifications on Sign Annulus
  • C.1 New South Wales
  • C.2 Queensland
  • C.3 South Australia
  • C.4 Victoria
  • C.5 Tasmania