Traffic management

Cover of Ability to Absorb Information Through Electronic and Static Signs
Ability to Absorb Information Through Electronic and Static Signs
  • Publication no: AP-R485-15
  • ISBN: 978-1-925294-41-5
  • Published: 13 May 2015

This report reviews current practices and research evidence on the co-location of three types of signs: direction signs (DS), variable message signs (VMS) and variable speed limits/lane control signs (VSL/LCS). An advanced driving simulator study was conducted by the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety to further investigate the possible impacts of sign co?locations on drivers’ responses and behaviour under an emergency situation.

The research found that dual co-location of VSL/LCS, VMS and/or DS has been widely practised overseas and in Australia. Triple co-location of VSL/LCS, VMS and DS is also practised overseas but is still new to the Australian driving community. Findings in this report suggest that although there is no clear evidence showing that triple co-location gives rise to riskier behaviour, this proposition should be viewed with caution, but should not rule out further evaluation of triple co-location in a real life setting. It is also recommended that triple co-located signs should be used only in situations where other arrangements for displaying essential sign information are impractical.

  • Summary
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Project Delivery Methodology
  • 3. Literature Review
    • 3.1. Current Practices and Guidelines
      • 3.1.1. Hybrid Signs and Information Volume for Sign Designs in the US Standard
      • 3.1.2. Managed Lane Signs in the US Freeway Management and Operation Manual
      • 3.1.3. Managed Motorway Signs in Europe
      • 3.1.4. European VMS and VSL Harmonisation Deployment Guidelines
      • 3.1.5. Sign Location Requirements in the Australian Standard
      • 3.1.6. VSL Proximity with Other Signage Recommended by Austroads
      • 3.1.7. Recommendations on Co-location of Signage in the TMR Traffic and Road Use Management Manual (TRUM)
      • 3.1.8. Others Guidelines
    • 3.2. Existing Research
      • 3.2.1. Laboratory Experiments
      • 3.2.2. Driving Simulator Studies
      • 3.2.3. Driver Evaluations
    • 3.3. Summary of Findings
      • 3.3.1. General Findings
      • 3.3.2. Summary of Evidence For and Against Co-location
    • 3.4. Unresolved Issues Relating to Co-location
  • 4. Impact of Sign Co-location on Driver Response in an Emergency Situation
    • 4.1. Test Design
      • 4.1.1. What Needs to be Tested?
      • 4.1.2. Scenario Design
      • 4.1.3. Driving Environment Design
      • 4.1.4. Assessment Parameters and Statistical Analysis
      • 4.1.5. Sign Design
      • 4.1.6. Sample Size
      • 4.1.7. A Supplementary Questionnaire Survey for VMS Comprehension
      • 4.1.8. Out of Scope
    • 4.2. Test Results
      • 4.2.1. Summary of Driving Simulator Test Results
      • 4.2.2. Result from Supplementary Questionnaire Survey on VMS
      • 4.2.3. Addressing the Research Questions
  • 5. Discussion
  • 6. Conclusions and Recommendations
  • References