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Drivers asked to report obscured road signs

24 July 2020
Hidden road signs are at best a nuisance for drivers and, at worst, can be misleading and dangerous
Hidden road signs are at best a nuisance for drivers and, at worst, can be misleading and dangerous

 

Drivers are being asked to report any road signs hidden by trees or bushes. Hidden road signs are at best a nuisance for drivers and, at worst, can be misleading and dangerous, according to breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

The safety call comes at a time when roadside vegetation is at its thickest and maintenance of signs may not be a priority for already stretched authorities.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: “Road signs provide vital information for drivers, who will plan their speeds and actions based either wholly or in part on what the signs tell them.

“If you can’t see a sign, then your ability to make safe decisions is compromised, especially if you’re on unfamiliar roads. Nourished by recent rain, vegetation at this time of year tends to be at its most prolific, meaning more and more signs risk being partially or completely covered. It’s a growing menace that puts road users at risk.

“We can help highways authorities and local councils to know where the problems are by using the reporting facilities they provide. It is vital for road safety that trees, bushes and branches are not allowed to obscure important information, and that everyone using the roads has a clear view of speed limit and other signs.”

GEM is encouraging drivers to report obscured road signs to the appropriate local authority, and to remember that a limit of 30mph usually applies to all traffic on all roads with street lighting, unless there are signs to say otherwise.

The problem extends beyond local roads, said GEM. A survey last year by Transport Focus revealed that nearly a third of drivers had missed a motorway exit, either because of concealed or poorly-designed signs.

What drivers can do

  • For England and Wales, use a Government website to determine the local authority responsible for a sign location. Users will then be given a link to the home page of the appropriate local authority.
  • In Scotland, Transport Scotland is responsible for motorways and trunk roads. Local authorities maintain other public roads.
  • Northern Ireland’s NI Direct Government website takes you straight to a page where you can report a problem with a sign. If the sign has already been reported, visitors can add their name to a list of people reporting it.
  • To report a sign on a motorway or trunk road in England, drivers could use the TransportFocus ‘Sort My Sign’ website. They enter the location, road name or post code and enter details of the problem and the report will be sent to Highways England.
 
 
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