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What exactly is the right height to position a custom-made aluminium sign or road sign?

When ordering a custom made aluminium road sign or speed control sign from SSP Direct most of our customers have a clear idea on what they are going to do with it and where they should place it.

However, we felt we should share the following cautionary tale:

In 2011, two weeks after a sign company had installed signs directing people to a new temporary entrance, a member of staff walked into the sharp edge of this new bespoke aluminium sign. Within a second this man went from hospital employee to patient, ending the day with a heavy strapping around his eye socket and forehead.

This one story alone should act as the single biggest lesson to any sign installer. Certainly, when installing signs at height, think twice!

Interestingly Annex 4 of the Highways Agency document ‘Example of Safety Improvement schemes’ covers a number of points that should be observed by anyone attaching signs on posts around a campus, industrial plant or the grounds in which their organisation operates.

Although this guidance relates primarily to the Think Bike Safety scheme, it could equally apply to speed control, traffic control or information signs like Give Way, No Entry or Cycle path signs:
Paraphrased slightly, this document states where a footway or cycleway exists, the lower edge of the sign should ideally be a minimum of 2.1 metres off the ground (that is nearly 6.9 inches high). Moreover, in an ideal world, it should be 2.4 metres up.

Other pointers offered for installing signs includes:

  • Ensure visibility is not obscured in any way, particularly in places where pedestrians, drivers or bike riders look when they are pulling out from junctions or crossing the road
  • Ensure your new sign does not obscure other road signs or traffic signals.
  • In some cases it may not be practical to site the sign high over 2.1metres off the ground. If the signs are to be sited lower, the sign should be much lower so the sign is clearly visible to the proceeding pedestrian or biker

Whilst this is far from a comprehensive overview, it should give the sign installer a good start when it comes to installing signs.

For product information on bespoke road signs and speed control signs, please refer to the road and safety signs section of our website