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.

Applications for VAS or SID must be made through your local parish/town council.  Applications are not accepted from individual members of the public.

About this service
There are two types of speed warning signs:

  • those warning of an approaching hazard such as bends or junctions, designed to encourage drivers to approach such hazards at a safe speed

  • those encouraging 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 be either temporary or permanent

It is important that traffic in the county is controlled and managed in a consistent and defensible manner that also promotes the very best guidance and good practice relating to road safety. We identify SID locations by using information relating to the history of speed related injury accidents and/or 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 otherwise appropriate action.

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

Who can use it?
Parish or Town Councils wishing to be considered for a speed indicator device should contact us. Applications for SIDs are not accepted from individual members of the public.

How do I use it?
Applications should be made to the appropriate parish/town council.  Acceptance is dependent on the location meeting the current policy criteria regarding speeds and accidents.

What happens next?
Providing the location meets the criteria for consideration for a temporary SID (it must be within 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 the current policy, that location will become eligible for a temporary SID funded by Somerset County Council.

What is covered?
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.

How long does it take?
Obtaining accident statistics and speed readings may take up to 3 months.

How much does it cost?
Temporary SIDs are provided by Somerset County Council at locations that meet the current policy criteria free of charge up to a maximum of two locations per parish/town council area.

We are currently in the process of developing a series of policy and advice notes which will compliment government policy and advice. A link to these documents will be provided at a later date.

Laws and regulation
Most traffic management policy stems from documents produced by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England. Some of these are statutory (Acts and Regulations), whilst others are for guidance. The principal Acts are:

  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
  • Transport Act 2000
  • Highways Act 1980


Contact: Roads and Transport Team
Contact no: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday closed.

If an incident occurs outside these hours and is deemed a risk to public safety please contact the Police on 101.

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

» Indicates required fields

Feedback form
Was this information helpful? »