Conference Proceeding

The Effectiveness of Safety Campaign VMS Messages - A Driving Simulator Investigation

  • A Hamish Jamson (University of Leeds, U.K.)


This report outlines an off-road trial of the effectiveness of Safety Campaign Messages (such as “Watch Your Speed”) sometimes displayed on Variable Message Signs (VMS) throughout the U.K.’s motorway network. Eighty drivers took part in the driving simulator study. It primarily investigated the effectiveness of the individual messages and how their presence affected driver behaviour towards more critical Tactical Incident Messages (TIM), such as those that might warn of an impending hazard. Both the content and concentration of the Safety Campaign Messages were varied. The Safety Campaign Messages in themselves were not especially beneficial, in that drivers did not significantly modify their driving style purely on the advice of the messages. However, witnessing the odd VMS carrying such a message appeared to improve driver alertness to the context of the VMS and consequently response to a TIM became more timely under these conditions. Yet, if the frequency of Safety Campaign Messages was overly high, drivers became jaded with the VMS content and their ability to act appropriately to a TIM degraded.

How to Cite:

Jamson, A., (2007) “The Effectiveness of Safety Campaign VMS Messages - A Driving Simulator Investigation”, Driving Assessment Conference 4(2007), 459-465. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2007 the author(s)

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Published on
12 Jul 2007
Peer Reviewed