Warning digital speed sign readings on UK roads could lead to police action

Flashing speed sign
-Credit: (Image: No credit)


Most motorists will have noticed digital signs on the roadside that display their speed as they approach. These signs flash up your speed, sometimes in green or red depending on whether you're exceeding the limit.

If a driver maintains a speed under the limit, such as 30 or 40mph, they may occasionally be greeted with a smiley face or a 'thank you' message. Those speeding might see a frowning face or a message urging them to slow down.

While these signs may encourage some drivers to reduce their speed if they weren't aware they were over the limit, they are often disregarded. This is because drivers know that these digital signs do not have cameras attached.

However, road safety experts have cautioned that consistent speeding at these locations could result in police conducting speed operations there. Some digital signs store speed data and provide valuable information to councils about where vehicles are exceeding the speed limit, reports Birmingham Live.

Graham Conway, from the prominent vehicle lease company Select Car Leasing, commented: "Sadly, many motorists will simply ignore a frowning face and continue to speed, seemingly safe in the knowledge that no cameras are recording their illegal deed and that they won't end up with points on their licence. But it's not quite as simple as that. One of the key benefits of a Smiley Activated Message camera is that, while it doesn't store individual vehicle data, it collects and monitors driver speeds so that the operators can analyse the results.

"If the operators notice particularly excessive speeds or large numbers of motorists exceeding the limit at a given point in time, it may well prompt the council to inform the local police to set up a very real speed trap. And if your actions have led to that outcome, you've only got yourself to blame if you ultimately end up with points on your licence and a fine, particularly if you use that route regularly."