Speed awareness monitoring signs

Speed Awareness Monitoring (SAM) signs are relocatable electronic signs that display a speed related message to passing motorists.

Speed awareness monitoring signs

Speed Awareness Monitoring (SAM) signs are relocatable electronic signs that display a speed related message to passing motorists. They are intended to remind a driver of their speed and make relevant changes to their driving behaviour.

ExampleImportant information

Vehicles travelling below the speed limit are shown a smiley face message

Drivers exceeding the speed limit by up to 9 km/h are shown their speed and a 'Slow Down' message

Drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 km/h or more are only shown the 'Slow Down' message in an attempt to discourage some motorists who may be trying to view a high speed reading

Why install SAM signs?

Council frequently receives requests from members of the community to install local area traffic management devices as a means to manage vehicle speeds on the road. Most requests are for council to install physical traffic calming devices. As you drive around the Sunshine Coast you will find a number of local area traffic management devices including roundabouts, chicanes, speed humps and one lane slow points.

Council officers receive mixed reports of the effectiveness of physical traffic calming devices on local roads. In addition, feedback received from residents highlights a number of drawbacks of these devices.

These include:

  • Loss of on-street car parking
  • Lighting of the devices can impact on the amenity of adjacent residents
  • Noise generated by vehicles traversing the devices can cause disruption to residents
  • Rapid acceleration and deceleration through the devices creates additional noise and road safety issues as hooning motorists treat the devices as a challenge.

Due to these impacts and the relatively high costs of installing a physical traffic calming device, council has implemented a new SAM Signage Program to install SAM signage in preference to physical traffic calming devices for the following reasons:

  • No loss of on-street parking
  • Significantly lower cost which allows more locations to be treated
  • No changes to vehicle noise
  • No impediment to emergency services vehicles

Experience on the Sunshine Coast and also in other south east Queensland council’s has shown that the SAM signs are generally effective in reducing motorists speed.

Council’s SAM Program

If it is deemed that SAM signage is the most appropriate treatment to change driver behaviour and the requested street meets the assessment criteria, it will be included on a priority list of streets to receive a SAM sign when funding for a sign becomes available.

It has also been identified that the signs lose effectiveness over time when motorists are constantly exposed to the signs in the same location. As such, the SAM signs will be deployed at a site for approximately six months and that after that time they will be removed and the street ‘rested’ for at least six months before they are considered for another rotation.

SAM Program assessment criteria

Each site identified for potential implementation needs a detailed assessment before being considered for inclusion in the SAM Program. The initial assessment includes:

Step 1 – Selection of appropriate street. Local Streets or Neighbourhood Collector streets, with at least 15 percent of motorists travelling 10 km/h or more over the speed limit, will be considered for treatment.

Step 2 - Review of appropriate locations for the signage. This takes into account sight lines for motorists, ensuring the solar panel can receive adequate sunlight, clearance from conflicts such as driveways, power poles, low hanging power lines and television cables and clearance to underground services

Step 3 – Engagement with residents and property owners to confirm locations for the SAM signs

Step 4 – Installation of the signage and ongoing monitoring and compliance with the speed limit SAM Signage Program.

Step 5 – Rotation and enforcement cooperation with Queensland Police Service (QPS)

Evaluation and reporting

The SAM signs record the speed of vehicles entering and exiting the radar zone. This data can be used to assess the effectiveness of the signs.

A review of motorist’s speeds will be undertaken approximately six months after installation. The data will assist officers in determining the effectiveness of the SAM signage in reducing vehicle speeds. In addition, the data will be supplied to the QPS to assist them in undertaking targeted enforcement activities at these locations.

More information

Visit the Roads and transport web page for other information on road safety issues.

View the SAM signs fact sheet[262KB]