LED displays encourage road safety in China
Chinese police have rolled out a new range of plastic signs equipped with built-in LED displays, which are designed to dupe drivers into believing that they are approaching a traffic police vehicle.
The LED displays mounted on the signs showcase messages which encourage drivers not to speed and also claim to be measuring the speed at which drivers are going, which adds to the convincing look of the signs.
At the moment, around 10 of these signs have been put in place across the highways around the city of Henan.
Police say that the signs and LED displays are best able to slow down the speed at which motorists are travelling during the evening, because the lower levels of visibility make it easier for the signs to be mistaken for an actual law enforcement vehicle.
Thanks to the low energy consumption of the LED displays, each of the signs is actually powered by the light of the sun, so there is no need to hook them up to a mains power grid, allowing them to be placed anywhere.
While the effectiveness of this type of LED display as a traffic calming measure is obvious, it is unlikely to be something that could be exported to the UK.
Although the signs contain no speed camera technology, the British public would be unlikely to accept the thought that there might be signs out there designed to deliberately mislead road users and potentially create dangerous situations behind the wheel.
Of course, if the Chinese authorities are able to make a convincing argument for the use of the signs elsewhere, then this small, initial trial could have far reaching implications. The LED displays and phoney car mock-ups could pop up elsewhere across the globe as roll out continues.