Speed enforcement is one of local law enforcement agencies’ main jobs as speeders always find opportunities and good excuses to put some weight behind the gas pedal. As Police Departments are sometimes spread thin, tools like the VMS boards (Variable Message Sign) helps them partially replace an in-person officer to make sure limits are acknowledged and messages are delivered on specific high-traffic roads.
In this article, we’ll break down the main benefits of the VMS boards regarding Speed Enforcement:
- Effectiveness at slowing down drivers
- Remote Operation
THEY ARE EFFECTIVE AT SLOWING DOWN DRIVERS.
A driver speeding on an unfamiliar road can cause a severe accident; that’s when a well-placed VMS can help these drivers to slow down and pay attention to the message displayed. Even drivers who are somewhat knowledgeable of their usual route tend to slow down when seeing a warning message.
We usually see the usual warning about some issue on the road ahead: a specific speed limit to keep in mind due to a particular situation, or simply a kind reminder of what the cruising speed must be on that particular road. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, relevant neutral messages used to be the norm, and yes, they are effective. Still, a new kind of message is taking over road messages.
Using pop culture references, puns, or rhymes can catch a driver’s attention. After a careful study involving more than 300 drivers by the Virginia Transportation Research Council, it was found that humor and wordplay, followed by holiday or seasonal messages, garnered the most brain activity.
Like the Smart VMS II/HT by Kustom Signals, many VMS can display different messages without having someone at the sign’s location. With a local wifi connection and a modem for remote access, departments can turn displays on and off from anywhere, access the display status, and dynamically adapt the displayed message if the situation needs it.
Remotely accessing a VMS saves costs for police departments, given that a single officer can cost up to $150,000/year, and teams need to remain efficient and be where they are genuinely required.
With a simple but powerful software implementation, VMS can provide many different advantages and can adapt to many situations, for example:
- Changeable Messages: Create, edit and activate custom messages
- Permanent messages: Activate pre-programmed system messages that consist of industry-standard traffic messages such as ‘ACCIDENT AHEAD’ and animations, such as growing chevrons.
- Quick Edit: Access the quick edit function.
- Radar Settings: Set the speed thresholds used to activate specific messages.
- Sequences: Allows multiple existing messages to be displayed concurrently without re-creating them.
Another advantage of VMS is their ability to be attached to different elements; this allows for a great variety of placement like standard trailer bases, street poles, overhead road signs, bridges, trucks, etc. When a warning is needed, a VMS can be placed on-site and help the officers in charge to pass messages swiftly and clearly.
VMS boards are helpful in various situations; they are easily deployable, effective, and mobile. They are the best choice for signs where you need to display clear messages to inform the public.
This article was brought to you by Kustom Signals, a leading provider of law enforcement speed enforcement and video solutions.