GEM Alert on Obscured Road Signs & How To Report Them

Breakdown and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to report any road signs hidden by trees or bushes. Hidden road signs are at best a nuisance for drivers, and at worst can be misleading and dangerous, according to GEM. The safety call comes at a time when roadside vegetation is at its thickest and maintenance of signs may not be a priority for local authorities, who have been busy dealing with the Covid-19 impact on their operations.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth comments: “Road signs provide vital information for drivers, who will plan their speeds and actions based either wholly or in part on what the signs tell them.

“If you can’t see a sign, then your ability to make safe decisions is compromised, especially if you’re on unfamiliar roads. Nourished by recent rain, vegetation at this time of year tends to be at its most prolific, meaning more and more signs risk being partially or completely covered. It’s a growing menace that puts road users at risk.

GEM encourages drivers to report obscured road signs to the appropriate local authority.

What you can do

For England and Wales, use the Government website to determine the local authority responsible for a sign location. You will then be given a link to the home page of the appropriate local authority, but it will then be up to you to find your way to the right page.

In Scotland, Transport Scotland is responsible for motorways and trunk roads. Local authorities maintain other public roads.

Northern Ireland’s NI Direct Government website takes you straight to a page where you can report a problem with a sign. If the sign has already been reported, you can add your name to a list of people reporting it.

If you’re reporting a sign on a motorway or trunk road in England, you could also use the TransportFocus ‘Sort My Sign’ website. Just enter the location, road name or post code and enter details of the problem. Your report will be sent to Highways England.

How you can reduce risk

  • Sometimes knowing the shape of a sign is all you need. For example, ‘Stop’ is the only octagonal-shaped sign, and it means exactly that. Your wheels musts top turning.
  • ‘Give Way’ is the only upside down triangular sign. So even if you can’t read what it says, you know that you are approaching a junction.
  • Be ready for a change of speed limit. If you’re on a country road, look far ahead. If there are houses, a church, or other buildings in view then you can be ready for a change of speed limit to 30mph.
  • If a hidden road sign means you miss your turning off a motorway or trunk road, don’t take risks by making a last-minute swerve onto the slip road. Carry on (usually to the next junction) and turn when it is safe and legal.
About alastair walker 10562 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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