What are Variable Speed Limit Signs?

From construction projects to roadworks and special events, the safety of your team and the public is always a top priority. And what better way to ensure the safety on site than to make sure that everyone is driving to the conditions. This is where variable speed limit signs come in.

Whether you’re prepping for your next job or exploring different traffic management solutions, here’s everything you need to know about variable speed limit signs and how to improve safety on your next job site.

What is the purpose of variable speed limits?

Variable Speed Limit Signs (VSLS) are electronic, trailer-mounted signs that can be used to display different speed limits and messages based on changed driving conditions, like inclement weather, obstructions, congestion and roadworks. Unlike traditional static speed limit signs that display a fixed speed limit at all times, variable speed limit signs are equipped with technology that means they can be easily updated to show different speed limits as needed. 

VSLS are put in place to help control the speed of traffic to improve the efficiency of traffic flow. This helps to avoid bottlenecks, congestion and potential traffic accidents. So, the next time you’re preparing for a new job, you can use VSLS to ensure drivers slow down as they enter your worksite.

How do variable speed limit signs work?

Most VSLS are fixed with solar panels that power a digital screen that displays messages. These signs can be accessed remotely using special software to program and update the messaging in real time. 

While these signs are ideal for displaying changed speed limits, they can also be used to display a series of different messages depending on the circumstances. With a number of different colours to choose from, you can easily program multiple messages and timing settings.

VSLS are often mounted on trailers so they can be easily transported to the site and moved as necessary. This eliminates the need for traffic control workers to be on the road and exposed to dangerous traffic conditions.  

VSLS are often used in conjunction with other traffic management equipment like portable traffic light sets and barriers to further enhance their effectiveness and the safety of the site.

What are the benefits of variable speed limit signs?

VSLS offers a number of benefits that are often aimed at improving traffic flow and road safety. Here are just some of the advantages of using a VSLS on your next job site:

  • Adapt to changing conditions: VSLS allow for speed limits to be adjusted in real-time based on changing conditions, like weather, road congestion, accidents, construction and events. This helps to ensure that drivers are travelling at appropriate speeds based on the conditions, helping to reduce the risk of accidents and improving overall road safety.
  • Reduce congestion and bottlenecks: By adjusting speed limits to match traffic flow, VSLS can help reduce congestion and prevent the ‘accordion effect’ where traffic slows down and speeds up in waves, leading to stop-and-start traffic. 
  • Prevent accidents: By lowering speed limits during hazardous conditions, VSLS can help to prevent collisions and potentially reduce the severity of accidents that do occur.
  • Improved safety: VSLS adjusts the speed limit according to the road conditions. Not only does this help to reduce the likelihood of accidents, helping to keep road users safe, but it also helps to ensure the safety of everyone on site.
  • Flexibility: Unlike static speed limit signs, VSLS can be quickly and easily adjusted remotely to suit changing traffic or site conditions. 
  • Increase public awareness: The presence alone of VSLS helps to improve awareness of changed traffic conditions among drivers, which can encourage them to adjust their behaviour on the road accordingly. 
  • Our C-type VMS boards are fitted with radar to detect and display speeds
  • Some jobs require the owner of the VMS board to provide an up-to-date calibration certificate. We can provide this to our customers if it is required in one of their jobs. The customer should let us know when making the booking.
  • Logs can be generated and saved to show the number of cars that drive through a site, and the speed and time they were travelling. 

How do variable speed limit signs help to reduce congestion?

The main purpose of VSLS when used on the road is to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, enhance safety and better manage the impact of adverse conditions on roadways. Dynamically adjusting speed limits based on current conditions helps to create a safer and more efficient driving environment. VSLS help to prevent accidents and reduce the likelihood of traffic jams caused by sudden slowdowns or stop-and-start traffic patterns.

While it might seem counterintuitive, slowing traffic down during peak times and other heavy traffic periods can actually help to increase the number of vehicles that are able to safely travel on the road. During times of congestion, slower speeds allow drivers to feel more comfortable and confident when driving closer to one another, ultimately reducing stop-and-start conditions

Traffic management solutions at Orange Hire

At Orange Hire, we have a huge range of road and traffic management solutions to help you with your next project, including variable message signs that can be used to display changed speed limits along with a number of other messages. 

Our VMS Sign Board with Speed Radar is ideal for roadworks, event sites and construction projects. Plus, with the optional speed radar, you can program construction work zone speed check warnings. Alternatively, our VMS Sign Boards Class “A” 5 Colour Trailer Message Board uses innovative technology. This sign is ideal for traffic management, construction, store advertising and public notices of upcoming events, like large meetings and sports events.

As the largest specialist of traffic management solutions on the East Coast of Australia, you can count on Orange Hire to keep the traffic flowing. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our range of traffic management equipment.