Dorset speed indicator initiative reaches milestone

14.24 | 21 November 2023 |

A community scheme in Dorset’s towns and villages is marking 10 years since it was introduced to help slow down drivers.

The familiar Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) are vehicle activated illuminated temporary signs used by local communities to display vehicle speeds and other permitted messages.

This helps raise driver awareness of local speed limits to reduce traffic speeds and increase road safety.

In 2013, the Community SID Programme, now operated by Dorset Council, was updated and relaunched by council officers Joe Allen and Rob Camp to encourage and support more communities to get involved in road safety.

Since then, 77 communities have signed up to the initiative at 230 locations around the Dorset Council area. This is expected to rise further, with several more towns and villages at the application stage .

Joe and Rob work with local towns and parishes to get them set up legally to operate a SID on the highway.

Continued evaluation of the SIDs endorses the effectiveness of the signs at reducing traffic speeds. A recent evaluation of a village in Dorset with a 30mph speed limit, showed

  • A reduction of measured speeds by over 5mph from 37.1mph to 31.7mph
  • Number of vehicles travelling under the speed limit increased by 529 to 1,204 per day

Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “I am delighted this scheme has been a success and grown hugely over the past 10 years.

“The figures show the impact the devices have on reducing traffic speeds, something many communities are concerned about, and they contribute towards changing driver behaviour through our towns and villages.

“My thanks to Joe and Rob who took the opportunity to start the scheme and all the communities who are helping to make a difference and make our roads safer.”

Wool Parish Council is one council that has seen the benefit of the devices.

They say: “Every flash of a SID is a silent reminder to slow down, drive safely, and protect lives.

“We installed two SIDs across four locations in 2019 and they have been enormously successful, prompting drivers to think about their speed.”

The SID programme is also popular among residents and drivers, who enjoy getting their ‘Thank You’ message for sticking to the speed limits.

The council continued: “‘Residents complain when the signs are temporarily removed so they don’t receive a thank you for slowing down.

“The support the council has received from the SID Team has been fantastic and they are a testament to Dorset Council’s commitment to promoting responsible driving.”

Dorset Council oversees the setting up of new SID sites, providing risk assessments and training. Parish and town councils fund their local programme, owning the devices and being responsible for deploying them.



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