An electronic sign which displays a message or speed when triggered by a vehicle

Vehicle activated signs (VAS)

Vehicle activated signs (VAS) are electric signs which display a message or speed when triggered by vehicles travelling at excessive speeds. The signs can display the speed limit or they can warn drivers of an approaching hazard. They are intended to supplement rather than replace the traditional signs and line and are aimed at addressing specific road safety problems.

A vehicle activated sign should be used strategically where they will have the maximum effect. To introduce them on a widespread basis as simply ‘another traffic sign’ would cause drivers to become used to them and their effect would diminish.

Indicative costs

The cost of a vehicle activated signs is dependent upon its size and the local availability of the electricity supply. A general cost would be £13,000 – £17,500 and this would cover design and  installation, basic traffic management, provision of electrical connection from an adjacent connection from an adjacent location that does not require any ducting or cabling.

Mobile Vehicle Activated Signs

The Mobile Vehicle activated signs are becoming more popular as Parish/Town councils or community groups can move them around the village, costs are significantly less than permanent vehicle activated signs. This scheme is an option for areas or parishes within Leicestershire that wish to have an ongoing method of addressing excessive speed in their community.

The MVAS units are usually battery operated and display either the speed at which the approaching vehicle is travelling or give a reminder of the speed limit.  Subject to the agreement of the County Council, MVAS units can be mounted to existing metal lamp posts (not concrete or telegraph posts).  If no suitable metal lamp posts are available it can be possible for Leicestershire County Council to install new posts at agreed locations.

MVAS works best when the unit can be moved between a few locations. A good option is one MVAS unit to four locations. This has the advantage of drivers not becoming over familiar with the units location. Extra mounting brackets can be left in place to make the process of moving the MVAS between locations as easy as possible.

The MVAS units cost approximately £3,000 and the purchase of the unit is made direct with the supplier. There are also lamp post safety inspection costs and any new posts (if required) cost approximately £250 each.

Setting up a MVAS Scheme

If your community is interested in buying an MVAS, please get in touch via our Customer Service Centre via the link on the contact page. We will then register your interest and an officer will make contact

The following steps will be discussed:

  • Arranging a site meeting to discuss suitable locations
  • Agreeing a map showing the proposed sites
  • Discussing the preferred supplier and MVAS specification
  • Arranging to have lamp posts inspected
  • Signing and returning a Memorandum of Understanding



All costs stated are for guidance only.

Figures provided are estimates and are reviewed annually, with all costs subject to a site survey assessment.

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