As an initiative of the ACT Road Safety Action Plan 2016-20, the ACT Government, in 2018, launched a new trial aimed to promote road safety in residential areas through driver awareness of travelling speeds. A key component of this trial was the installation of portable speed detecting signs on a number of residential streets which have a known speeding problem and/or a high level of resident complaints. The signs were installed at various locations across the territory between February 2018 and October 2019.
How did they work? The default setting for the sign is blank. As a motorist approaches the sign, their speed is detected by the radar and the display would show:
- a 'smiley face' if they are travelling at or below the speed limit; or
- a 'SLOW DOWN' message if they are travelling above the speed limit.
The signs were not enforcement devices, they are a friendly reminder to motorists to watch their speeds, slow down and drive safely.
Evaluation of the trial
The ACT Government will continue to use interactive smiley face signs, as friendly reminders to motorists to watch their speed, slow down and drive safely.
An evaluation of a trial deployment of interactive ‘smiley face’ signs across the territory between February 2018 to October 2019 demonstrated that these signs are effective in reducing travel speeds to below the posted speed limit.
The ‘smiley face’ speed detection signs were rotated five times around the following locations, where they have captured about four million motorists and advised them to slow down if driving over the legal speed limit:
- Abena Avenue, Crace
- Casey Crescent, Calwell
- MacFarland Crescent, Pearce
- Springvale Drive, Weetangera
- Beasley Street, Torrens
- Kerrigan Street, Dunlop
- Jim Pike Avenue, Gordon
- Ainsworth Street, Mawson
- Stonehaven Crescent, Deakin
- Newman-Morris Circuit, Oxley
- Amy Ackman Street, Forde
- Mugga Way, Red Hill
- Burrinjuck Crescent, Duffy
- Boddington Crescent, Kambah
- Oodgeroo Avenue, Franklin
- William Webb Drive, Evatt
- McInnes Street, Weston.
Speed data from the signs was collected and assessed fortnightly to see if motorists were observing the message of the signs for the entire test period, and if there was an optimum duration for the signs to have a positive change in driver behaviour.
The results of the evaluation indicate the signs have reduced travelling speeds by up to 12km/h, and most motorists continued to drive at or below the speed limit of the road over the entire period of their installation.
For further information please read the evaluation report (PDF) (Word).
Note: Speed enforcement is an issue for ACT Policing. Any complaints of speeding or other reckless driving behaviour should be reported to ACT Policing on 131 444 or to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, providing as much information as possible, so that appropriate action may be undertaken