Road safety advice

4/7/2021 8:35:11 AM

3. Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS)

Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) are road signs that can display either the speed limit, a driver's current speed, or warn of a hazard ahead.

You can read more about VAS on our Traffic Advisory Leaflet.


Permanent Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS)  

Parish or town councils can request a VAS by completing an application form. You can find details of your parish or town council online. If no parish or town council exists, a local county councillor can request this. 

For a permanent VAS to be considered at a site, Transport for Bucks (TfB) will check:

  • collision history
  • speed of traffic
  • condition of existing signing and lining
  • whether other measures may be more suitable

Where a VAS is agreed and will be provided in front of or adjacent to residential properties, TfB or the local council will notify and confirm support from affected residents and the local county councillor. There will also be an additional cost to obtain speed data.

There are a number of suppliers and contractors who can supply and / or install the VAS on the highway in Buckinghamshire. These can be provided on request. 

For prices, see our fees and charges.


Mobile Vehicle Activated Sign (MVAS)

MVAS can be purchased by the parish/town council, using the application form

A mobile VAS can be fitted to:

  • a verge or back of a footway (drivers must be able to see them in good time to adjust their speed)
  • existing posts (as long as they leave room on that post to ensure a minimum mounting height)
  • Buckinghamshire Council columns (on a site by site basis)

There should be a minimum of 0.5m between the edge of the road and the sign.

You will also require permission to undertake the work, you can request a road space booking online. This costs £155 plus VAT.

Each MVAS location must have a risk assessment carried out, a sample assessment can be found on the HSE website 

Highway Authority reserves the right to remove the MVAS, if it presents a risk to the public

Prior to any excavation or ground screw work on the public highway, you must get underground services (stats) information.  TfB will undertake this search in their role  prior to approval being given.  Once the locations have been agreed, the stats can be requested, which can take between 4 to 6 weeks.

You may choose your own supplier

Swarco Traffic Ltd 

Ground screws and hinged posts supplier

Sign Sense

For prices, 
see our fees and charges. 


VAS policy

Vehicle Activate Signs must comply with The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 (TSRGD). This states that only signs and messages can be displayed, other messages are not permitted unless authorised by the Secretary of State.

Our VAS Policy was agreed in March 2006, and reviewed in August 2020. The VAS will be provided in any one of three ways:

  1. Council funded casualty reduction scheme
  2. Scheme where the community fund the VAS. This will be suitable where there is a proven problem with speed and other measures have been ruled out or have not proved successful.
  3. As for 2 above, but where a third party (usually the parish or town council) arrange and fund the supply, install and maintain the sign, subject to council approval.

In case 2 above, TfB would be responsible for installing the VAS and would receive a sum for the ongoing maintenance of the sign.  TfB would be responsible for all future maintenance of the sign.  

In case 3 above, where the third party arrange and fund the VAS, we would act as principal designer and supervise the works.  TfB’s would include ensuring the risk of underground services is managed.  The parish/town council would employ both TfB and the VAS  contractor directly.  The cost for TfB’s involvement would be on a site by site basis.


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Last updated: 7 April 2021

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