Smile – you’re driving the speed limit

Here in the U.S., road signs that flash the driving speed of approaching cars are a common sight, in part because they operate at two percent of the cost of traffic cameras. The clunky acronym for these things are VAS (Vehicle Activated Speed) signs. In the U.K., however, these signs don’t just tell drivers their speed. They smile at cars under the limit, and frown at cars over the limit.

Hat tip to Rory Sutherland for pointing this out in a post on the Spectator blog. You can also read Rory’s earlier piece on why politicians shouldn’t be afraid to learn from marketers, who are, after all, masters of persuasion.

No, the happy chap in the picture above is not Rory. It’s Councillor Michael McCann, the depute (British spelling) leader of South Lanarkshire Council, and member of the Scottish Labour Party.

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3 Responses to “Smile – you’re driving the speed limit”

  1. Stella Says:

    We have these in Tasmania, often placed strategically half way up a steep hill. Try as I might, I can’t get a frowny face up these inclines. I think perhaps they’re nudging me the wrong way.

  2. How We Drive, the Blog of Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic » Blog Archive » The Box, Blocked Says:

    […] of box-blockers). Was there a Nudge-style solution? I’m not sure the recent Nudge for speed reduction would work here, but maybe there’s something […]

  3. Christopher Monnier Says:

    I like it. Here’s my Nudge-like idea for speed limit enforcement.

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