Improving road safety in Brent Borough with installation of 34 VAS



According to the national THINK Road Safety Campaign, injuries to motorcyclists are out of proportion to all other RTCs: despite being just 1% of total road traffic they account for 19% of all road user deaths.

Individual accidents were studied to identify patterns and the main causes of accidents involving P2Ws. Through analysis, locations which may benefit from accident reduction measures were identified.

“One of the most common causes of accidents involving P2W is high speeds,” explains Chhaganlal J Dabhi, Project Engineer for Brent Council’s Highways and Infrastructure Service. “And high speeds can cause severe injuries and fatalities, particularly for a motorbike rider who is the most exposed and vulnerable. However, we also know that one of the most effective measures to reduce accidents can be to inform all road users of the hazards and prevailing dangers, and advise them accordingly.”

To limit the impact on traffic management on the roads, all installation work was on the vehicle actuated signs (VAS) was carried out at night.

SWARCO has installed 34 VAS, most of which are fixed to existing light columns (and Bouygues-supplied and installed the mains power isolator switches), whilst some are solar powered. The signs are CE marked for quality and safety at the highest level and they are built with SWARCO’s latest LED’s. This LED technology gives the greatest optical output which provides dramatically increased reliability whilst also reducing power consumption.

Each VAS has a pre-set threshold speed, appropriate for the location, and when activated by an approaching vehicle over the threshold the speed is displayed along with either an instruction of ‘slow down’ or a ‘sad face’ in red. For vehicles driving within the speed limits, a ‘happy face’ or ‘thank you’ is shown in green.

Chhaganlal says Brent Council is committed to the continued reduction of personal injury accidents: “Whilst we wait to see what the data reveals in terms of the signs’ effectiveness, we are pleased that the project is bringing about more general awareness to all road users about the potential dangers to motorcyclists and reducing accidents overall. If these signs help to prevent a death or serious injury on the Borough’s roads then it is money well spent.”