When it comes to work zone safety, it’s important to make sure that motorists have real-time access to relevant traffic information. Drivers need to know ahead of time whether there’s a merge coming up or stopped traffic ahead. One of the best ways to communicate this potentially life-saving information is with a message board, also known as a changeable message sign. Let’s take a look at these devices, what they can do, and where they are best put to use.
What Are Changeable Message Signs?
Changeable message signs are the large black signs that you see along our nation’s highways. They display a changeable message, typically in large orange lettering, on an LED display. This alerts drivers to traffic patterns, potential road hazards, and other important information. The display is part of a folding frame that attaches to the back of a truck or trailer.
Some of the most common messages that you’ll see displayed on message boards include:
- ROAD WORK AHEAD
- RIGHT/LEFT LANE CLOSED AHEAD
- STOPPED TRAFFIC AHEAD
- STADIUM/EVENT PARKING
- CREWS WORKING IN ROAD
- USE BOTH LANES TO MERGE POINT
There are two main types of message board: the standard variety limits messages to three lines and eight characters, while the full matrix variety eliminates restrictions on where and how much you can type.
Changeable message signs may also display flashing arrows that direct motorists to move in a certain direction. In this case, they are known as flashing arrow boards. Whether they are directing traffic flow or providing crucial updates, changeable message signs play a vital role in protecting both motorists and work crews.
What Do They Do?
Using sign management software, message boards are programmed to display a particular message. This message can be changed at any time using any internet-connected device, making these boards a convenient choice for contractors and DOTs. They can also be integrated with a larger smart work zone, where they are programmed to automatically display messages based on detected traffic patterns.
Message signs promote road safety by ensuring that drivers are always aware of sudden traffic changes, merge points, and anything else that may present a potential hazard. They can also help optimize traffic flows and reduce backups.
Where Are They Used?
Changeable message signs and/or flashing arrow boards are well-suited for multiple uses. For one, they make an excellent addition to any work zone safety plan, protecting work crews and motorists alike. Secondly, they are great for directing traffic and pointing drivers to the right place during a special event, like a festival or concert.
Message boards are a favorite among contractors and DOTs because of how easy and portable they are. Whether you’re renting or purchasing, you’re sure to get a lot of use out of these versatile message signs. Traffic conditions can change fast, and you need a solution that can keep up. Thankfully, changing your message out is as easy as logging onto a computer or tablet.
About Carolina Traffic Devices
We’re proud to carry several varieties of changeable message signs, available in multiple sizes for purchase or rental. American Signal message boards are the perfect combination of quality and value, while arrow boards from Work Area Protection are highly user-friendly. Browse these selections and more at this link.