The Highways Agency of UK is changing the existing overhead electronic signs with pictures and words to improve the road safety in Bristol, Swindon and Gloucester.

The new system will replace the old display of text messages in block capitals with the pictures and as well as words such as those for accidents, queues, snow and ice, high winds and skid risk.

These signs are easy to recognise from some distance and help the road users to react accordingly.

These variable message signs could be managed automatically, or can be operated from the Highway agency’s control centers.

The Highways Agency traffic operations director Derek Turner said, “We are now upgrading these latest generation signs with pictograms to get helpful and up-to-date information out to drivers. The programme is starting in the South West and will be rolled out to other areas of the country during the year.”

Without any closure of the lanes or any new equipment installation this system can be upgraded with software download at each sign location.

This system will be upgraded on the M4 between junctions 15 and 19, followed by signs on the M32 in Bristol and on the M5 around Gloucester.