The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has expressed concern that community speedwatch partnerships are encouraging people to put fake 30mph signs on their wheelie bins to slow down motorists.
The ABD is questioning whether this practice is legal and appropriate, specifically highlighting the Wealden district in Sussex, where it is being utilised.
The ABD describes the practice as “potentially dangerous” and a “distraction”, while Wealdon’s police chief says the signs are an “innovative way of educating motorists”.
Malcolm Heymer, ABD spokesman and former highways engineer, says: “There are strict rules in place for roadside signage, including the frequency and placement of all speed limit signs. Signs that do not conform to the regulations are not legal and can cause distraction, possibly leading to a vital warning sign or hazard being missed.
“Drivers need and expect uniformity of road signage. In built-up areas with street lighting and a 30mph speed limit, the regulations prohibit repeater speed limit signs. While the ABD does not necessarily agree with this restriction, large numbers of illicit 30mph signs on wheelie bins are a direct contravention of the regulations and could cause confusion.
“It is most disturbing to see police forces and local councils not only encouraging householders to erect unauthorised copies of road signs contrary to regulation, but in some cases also supplying such signage. This is a potentially dangerous practice and makes a mockery of signage rules. These authorities really should know better.”
Chief Inspector Dick Coates, Wealden district policing commander, said: “Neighbourhood panels, made up of residents in Wealden almost always identify speeding motor vehicles as an issue. My teams continually look at ways of dealing with these problems. Along with ongoing enforcement of speeding motorists, education is a priority. We have some excellent speed watch groups that work tirelessly across Wealden and the bin stickers are another innovative way of educating motorists.”
For more information contact the ABD on 0870 4442535, or click here to read the full Sussex Police report.