New Speed Signs
We hope everyone had a fun and safe new year. With the ever-changing road conditions, sometimes the speed we drove last week is now too dangerous this week. It can be difficult for some drivers to correctly gauge which speed is the safest for current road conditions, but it just got a little bit easier!
DriveBC has now installed variable speed signs along various routes that can be severely affected by changing weather conditions.
Aside from viewing the updated speeds as you approach the signs, you can now see which routes have these new signs along with their updated speeds by going to DriveBc’s Variable Speed Limit Sign webpage. The website is available in both a desktop format or even an easy to navigate mobile friendly version.
How It Works
The variable speed signs work on a ‘Drive to Conditions’ principle. Whereas a regularly posted speed limit sign is a maximum speed set for ideal conditions, variable speed limit signs display the legal speed limit when road and weather conditions change, such as during any rain or snow events.
Static message signs at the entrance to each corridor inform travelers they are entering a variable speed zone. A Digital Message Sign (DMS) at the beginning of each corridor warns drivers of changing weather conditions. Flashing lights installed above each variable speed limit sign are activated when a reduced speed limit is in effect.
Traffic, pavement and visibility sensors monitor real-time traffic speeds as well as road and weather conditions to provide recommended reduced speeds back to operations staff who then adjust the electronic signs to let drivers know what speed they should be traveling for the current conditions.
All signs and sensors have backup power, but should a power outage occur, or a speed sign is blank, drivers are to maintain the speed of the last posted speed sign. You can read more about how and when these signs were installed here.
Even with a variable speed limit system, it is important that drivers know to travel to the conditions of the road, their vehicle, and their abilities.
We hope that all drivers can make use of these signs and stay safe in 2018!