Somerset County Council

Apply for a speed warning sign


Speed warning signs, or vehicle activated signs (VAS), are signs with an LED display. They show speed or an approaching hazard, and may have an accompanying message. The display is activated once a vehicle has been detected travelling in excess of the speed limit set within the sign. We provide speed warning signs to address problems of inappropriate speed where conventional signing has proved to be ineffective.

There are two types of speed warning signs:

  • signs that warn of an approaching hazard, such as bends or junctions, designed to encourage drivers to approach at a safe speed

  • signs that encourage drivers to comply with the speed limits through villages and urban areas. This type of vehicle activation sign (VAS) is normally called a speed indicator device (SID), and can either be temporary or permanent

Applications for VAS or or a speed indicator device (SID) must be made through your local parish or town council. Applications are not accepted from individual members of the public.

It is important that traffic is controlled and managed in a consistent and defensible way that also promotes the very best guidance and good practice around road safety. We identify SID locations by using information about the history of speed related injury accidents and inappropriate speed.

Permanent vehicle activation signs will only be considered and funded as part of a road safety scheme where there is evidence of an accident problem associated with inappropriate speed that has not been satisfactorily remedied by standard signing, lining, or other appropriate action.

Portable SIDs are used at sites that do not meet the requirements for a permanent VAS but where there is evidence of personal injury collision or an inappropriate speed problem.

Parish or town councils that wish to be considered for a speed indicator device should contact us. Acceptance depends on the location meeting the current policy criteria around speeds and accidents.

Providing the location meets the criteria for consideration for a temporary SID (it must be in a 20mph, 30mph or 40mph speed limit), we will arrange for speed readings to be taken. If the speed readings show a non-compliance with the speed limit within the criteria of our policy, that location will become eligible for a temporary SID, which we will fund.

Portable SIDs will be supplied and erected at a pre-determined site for a period of 2 weeks every 4 months for 1 year. Data concerning numbers and speeds of vehicles will also be collected by the SID during its placement.

We provide temporary SIDs at locations that meet the policy criteria free of charge, up to a maximum of two locations per parish or town council area.

You can find out more about speed warning signs on our Traffic Choices website

We are developing a series of policy and advice notes in line with government policy and advice. 


Contact: Roads and Transport Team
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

If there is an urgent problem outside these hours and it is a risk to public safety please phone the police on 101.

If you need to visit a highway area office you can find the address of your local office here.

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