‘Blocked’ Road Signs Causing Issues for Drivers

‘Blocked’ Road Signs Causing Issues for Drivers

Road signs being blocked by trees, plants and other vegetation are causing issues for drivers, according to a new study.

The report found that 42% of drivers have accidentally broken speed limits because of road signs being blocked by overgrown plants and trees.

Of course, as ever with studies of this type, it’s worth considering that those are the drivers who are aware of it being an issue or who are willing to admit it.

Three-quarters of drivers also said that speed limit signs are the ones most likely to be covered by overgrown foliage, which could cause issues.

Blocked Road Signs – Is It A Big Issue?

If you remember your driving training, you’ll know that there are ways to tell what the speed limit on any given road is without relying on speed limit signs.

Of course, for many drivers, that may well have been a long time ago, so you can be forgiven for not remembering!

But if you’re a keen observer of the highway code then you’ll know that any road that has street lights every 200 yards or less is classed as a 30mph unless signs state otherwise.

In the vast majority of cases, and especially in residential areas, this will be the case (except in Wales where these are 20mph zones rather than 30mph).

Of course, national speed limit signs, 40mph and 50mph signs are important on dual carriageways, B-roads and A-roads for drivers to be able to know what speed they should be travelling at.

While official advise will be that if you’re unsure, stick to lower speed limits, we all know that driving 30mph in a 40mph zone can lead to issues (never mind the fact that it might mean your drivers end up taking longer on their route!).

Hence why blocked road signs can be a serious issue.

After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is accidentally break the speed limit and land themselves with a fine or having to attend a Speed Awareness Course (or end up with points on their licence).

What Is The Solution To Blocked Road Signs?

National Highways and local authorities are responsible for the upkeep of roads and the surrounding areas, but as we’ve all witnessed in rural areas or areas with lots of foliage, when spring hits and everything blooms, it can pretty quickly get out of control.

Keeping trees, plants, and grass trimmed back and well kempt is easier said than done and it requires both funding and organisation.

There’s an argument to be made that at a certain point, which might well be when road signs are being blocked, it becomes more of a road safety issue.

That means it’s much more of a requirement to keep foliage trimmed back than a ‘nice to have’.

Aside from the safety issue, it could also lead to road signs and navigation being obscured, which could lead to people taking wrong turns.

Of course, most of us have satnavs, phones or systems on hand to keep us on track and heading to our destination or if it’s a road we’re familiar with, we won’t need to take a look at a road sign before heading over a roundabout.

Have you noticed blocked road signs being an issue on your regular travel routes? Do you think more needs to be done to keep foliage trimmed back? And is it a road safety issue? Let us know in the comments below.