Designing a safe LED school sign

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Designing a safe LED school sign

Many a times, incorrectly designed signs, especially in crowded areas such as schools, can be a distraction to drivers which could lead to road accidents. This article explains the guidelines that should be used in designing a school LED sign that presents driver distraction and hence ensures road safety around schools.

In terms of location, the main concern arises when the sign is placed close to a pedestrian crossing or an intersection because in such situations, traffic lights often exist and cause a conflict between drivers and pedestrians. Therefore, it is strictly advisable to locate LED school signs

  • Within the premises of the school
  • Not in an area where vehicles are going at 80km/h or more
  • In an angle that does not reflect light, as a result causing disturbance to road users
  • Not at an intersection or pedestrian crossing.

When deciding the location, keep in mind easy viewing ability for drivers and pedestrians. Also, place it away from areas where drivers would need to give added attention to read the sign.

Another concern is the design of the sign itself. Messages that are too flashy or those that keep changing too fast will distract motorists. Consider the following principles when designing your LED sign:

  • Limit the text to a maximum of four lines, with 18 characters per line. This is just the maximum limit and it is not necessary for to fill up entire screen.
  • As for the font height, in a driving zone of 60km/h or less, the minimum height should be 150mm so that pedestrians and drivers can quickly and easily read the message.
  • Make sure the information displayed on it is strictly related to the operations of the school and not for other advertising purposes.
  • For LED school signs, it is advisable to use text only signs as graphics may be a distraction.
  • For maximum effectiveness of message communication, keep the message short enough to fit into one screen (it should not keep rolling over up and down).
  • Minimum display time for one message is 10 minutes; yet, the longer it is kept the better.
  • A change in message should not take more than 0.1 seconds.
  • It is best to avoid animations such as blinking, flashing, fading in, flying out, etc. Static messages are best suited for school LED signs.
  • Similarly, avoid using too many colors, font styles and font sizes in one message. Keep it simple.
  • In case of a malfunction, instruct the screen to display a blank screen at all times.

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