Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Deryck Tintagel
Just noticed in the last week or so a new(ish) 40mph speed limit sign on a dual carriageway approaching a roundabout. They look leagl in terms of size and number (one on each side of the carriageway, but they are quite well obscured by shrubs and trees on the verges.

The question is: what is the minimum distance from which they signs should clearly visible?
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Soupytwist
I cannot answer your question but I would like to know the answer as well.

This is because on a road I drive every weekday (A1060 if anyone knows it) a new 40 mph zone has been introduced on one section and the signs at the start of the zone are quite difficult to read because of overhanging foliage, although there?s plenty of repeater signs in the zone itself. What are even more difficult to read are the NSL signs that signal the end of the 40 mph zone. A cynic might suggest that this is deliberate so that you remain driving at the slower speed.

Is there a standard for visibility from a certain distance ?

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - teabelly
I think has all the necessary information. I was reading it the other day but can't remember the exact numbers. A very helpful and informative website.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Dwight Van Driver
Just had a quick, repeat quick, trawl through the relevant Rules at

(Part II General Directions 8 onwards)

and whilst it goes to great length as to size, colour,proportion and where placed it does not as far as I can see make any reference as to visibility splays etc.

Advice on visibility may well be given to LA through Circular Roads but these are not law.

It would therefore seem that if placed but obscure they are still legal.

Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Deryck Tintagel
I looked on the ABD website and found that, although there doesn't appear to be a minimum distance specified, the signs must be maintained and visible even if they were correctly signed and located originally. So, if the sign is obscured you cannot be prosecuted for exceeding the posted limit - assuming that you are not exceeding the NSL. Apparently, the onus is in the Highways Departments to keep them visible.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - sean
Remember that, if you're in a built up area with street lamps spaced (such and such, the experts know the distance), the limit is 30mph unless posted differently.

The 40mph sign you didn't see could be at a higher limit than that for the rest of the road, which was 30mph, so saying you didn't see the 40 sign won't do.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - PhilW
I've been pondering exactly the same question recently. On my way to work there is a rural mile section (no houses, no street lamps) which is 40 mph ( the rest of the 5 mile journey is as well) but on the left it follows a railway embankment heavily overgrown with trees which totally (and I mean totally) obscure about 3 or 4 40 limit signs. Another couple have been hit by someone (returning from the pub I suspect) so they are edge on and can't be read until you are level with them. However, there are signs on the off side which are perfectly clear. Also I suppose that the question is academic since I have driven the route daily for 20 years and know damn well what the speed limit is (and that it is perfectly safe to drive along at 50!! - I see about two pedestrians per year on the wide footpaths, there is only one junction, visible for at least 400 yards, and there are no sharp bends) Ah well, I'll continue to pootle along at 40 listening to Radio 5 (Live??!!) - it's not an unpleasant way to get to work!!
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - PhilW
The biggest danger is the school double decker buses coming the opposite direction doing about 60 odd, with kids hanging out of and throwing things out of the windows, that always look as if they are going to either topple on to me or swing so wide on the only slight bend that we will have head on crash.
No offence Rob and other bus drivers, I understand perfectly why they would like to get the little pink fluffy dice to school as quickly as possible!
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Pugugly {P}
Worth remembering this one - carry an el cheapo (no-digital) camera in the car, if you are stopped (by an organic speed detection device - copper) its worth checking the signs. DVD will probably bear me out that visibility of signs should be checked prior to setting up a laser/radar "trap" for visibiltiy. I recall disproving a case on these grounds many years ago, the driver had the presence of mind to photograph the obscured 40s after he was booked - bit more difficult today with so many automated systems and giant reminders painted on the road.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - volvoman
PU - Is there a legal reason why the camera should not be of digital format ?
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Pugugly {P}
Yes - You may find it difficult to submit as evidence, one less mountain to climb.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - jeds
I use basic digital photographs in legal work almost daily. I can assure you they are as admissible, in both criminal and civil cases, as normal photographs.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Pugugly {P}
Not saying thet are not admissible - just saying that its one less mountain to climb if you use 35mm with negs...leaves less scope for unenlightened people on all sides to make an issue.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Deryck Tintagel
In this case the road is a dual carriageway with the NSL and drops on the approach to a roundabout - bit puzzling as the view to the junction is quite good and you'll be slowing anyway becuase the view to the right is obscured.

From the ABD website it suggests that if you know that a sign is obscured then you should write to the Highways and Police to inform them that the sign is not enforceable but should we if we can get away with it?
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Dwight Van Driver
Good advice as PU says to carry a cheap camera around in the car for it can be used for many things to help you.

Speed checks by hand held in the middle of Manchester etc. doubt ful that Plod would travel out several miles to check the signs on approach but a point to bear in mind if ever caught.

Whatever is happening to the love of our fellow motorists? If obscure sign seen why not a word to LA or Plod and report it. May, nay it will, save someone some hassle along the line.

Normally done by Plod Traffic, sorry Road Policing,but they are
becoming as rare as hens teeth.

Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Pugugly {P}
I shouldn't say this but I will anyway - It may be worth checking the Road Traffic order for the stretch of road in question - you may very well be suprised. I will leave it as being that cryptic.
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - pdc {P}
And where do you go to check the relevant Road Traffic order?
Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Dwight Van Driver
Your Local Authority Traffic Management Department will have the relevant Orders for the Speed limit as will your local Constabulary. If you have a Public library off soem distinction there may even be copies in their Reference section.

Visibility of Speed Limits Signs - Pugugly {P}
Saying too much again - try the LA first !


Value my car