The Parish Council took delivery of an Evolis Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) in June 2021. The unit is standalone and portable because the power is supplied by a solar panel. At present we have installed the VAS on the A386 in the 40mph zone north of the Royal Standard but we have the option to move it to different sites provided these are approved by the authorities.
The VAS complements the 2 existing VAS (located in the 30mph zone and owned by Devon County Highways) and other initiatives such as the Community Speedwatch Group in trying to make our roads as safe as possible.
Unlike the 2 old VAS, the Evolis unit records traffic data: vehicle speeds, the number of vehicles and the dates and times of day the vehicles pass the sign. Vehicles travelling north and south are recorded at the same time in different data channels.
We will be reporting the data obtained by the VAS on an approximately monthly basis. These reports will appear as attachments on this page. We will also be sending the data to Devon & Cornwall Police and to Devon County Highways. Should the results show we have a speeding problem that needs dealing with, we will pursue additional ways of making the road safer for all road users.
Update: 26th July 2021
We have had the Evolis VAS running in Spy Mode (with the display turned off) to collect data before then switching the display on. Unfortunately, on Monday the 20th July, the unit was hit (presumably) by a passing vehicle and slightly damaged. The unit was removed to make a simple repair but before it could be put back in operation, a high sided vehicle (presumably) hit and damaged the solar panel that powers the unit. The solar panel will need to be replaced.
It is most likely that the damage was accidental although any vehicle that could strike the equipment must have been driving dangerously close to a Devon Bank and lamp posts or had something projecting out from the body of the vehicle. There was no damage to trees that project further onto the highway than the Evolis a few metres in front of the sign.
The location had been approved and inspected by DCC Highways and there was no indication that it was an inappropriate location.
So, what next? The main unit is operating perfectly but we will need to obtain another solar panel if we are to put it back into operation. We will also discuss other possible locations with DCC Highways. All of this means it may be a few weeks before the unit is back up and running.
We have, however, obtained results from the 24th June until the 21st July. These are presented in the attachment below and show that the majority of vehicles are travelling at 40mph or less in the 40 zone (on the A386 towards the north of the village). The 85 percentile figures (i.e. 85% of vehicles are at this speed or below) are 39mph for southbound traffic and 41mph for northbound traffic. However, a significant number of vehicles are exceeding the speed limit by a considerable margin – for example, over the 4 week period there were 482 vehicles travelling above 60mph, 290 above 65mph and 170 above 70mph. While some of these are likely to be emergency service vehicles, many will be “ordinary” drivers. Many of the excessive speeds were recorded overnight, between 10pm and 7am.
Update: 18th November 2021
The Evolis Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) located in the 40mph zone on the A386 in Mary Tavy has been running with the display illuminated for a little over 3 weeks. Traffic data has been recorded over this period for both incoming (southbound) and outgoing (northbound) vehicles.
When we compare the results with those obtained in June and July when the display was switched off, we see some interesting trends:
- Incoming (southbound) vehicles are typically travelling around 8 to 10% miles per hour more slowly when the speed display is turned on compared with when the display is switched off. So, the visual display does seem to be effective at reducing speeds.
- Outgoing vehicles never see the illuminated display and their speeds are largely unaffected by whether the display is on or off.
For a more detailed report and some charts comparing vehicle data when the speed display is on or off, see attachment 1. For the detailed data files downloaded from the VAS see attachments 2 (June/July, display off) and 3 (October/November, display on).