Bucks County Council has introduced a new policy restricting the use of smiley faces on speed indicating devices (SIDs).
Guidance issued to parish councils says “signs will now be able to include the speed of the vehicle, but only displayed in green if the vehicle is travelling less than the posted speed of the road.
“If travelling in excess of the posted speed, the sign face will display the posted speed in red.
“Signs can also have a red and white surround, ‘Slow Down’ and flashers.
“Signs cannot have a smiley face, say ‘Thank You’ or ‘Your Speed’. “
Although no parish councils were willing to speak on the record to this newspaper about the issue, it is understood that some feel the move is ridiculous.
A Transport for Bucks spokesman said: “Bucks County Council was made aware that some parishes were in the process of purchasing signs that did not meet the criteria of BCC’s current policy.
“The email sent to parish councils was intended to prevent them from purchasing something that would not have been permitted on the highway.
“The use of the Speed Indication Devices with smiley faces was recently reviewed and it was confirmed that these signs may only be permitted if they’re continually manned by volunteers.”
It is understood that this rule does not apply in neighbouring Hertfordshire, where smiley face signs are reportedly used without volunteers present.
In response to this question the county council said: “Bucks County Council does follow DfT guidance and after consultation with them we were advised that they were not permitted, although we are aware that they are used elsewhere.
“An alternative is being considered by the county council which would indicate speed if it was lower than the limit and if this is approved; this information will be shared with the parishes and town councils.”