Browse Definitions :
Definition

variable speed limit (VSL)

A variable speed limit is a flexible restriction on the rate at which motorists can drive on a given stretch of road. The speed limit changes according to the current environmental and road conditions and is displayed on an electronic traffic sign. Signs typically indicate a maximum speed and may also list the minimum.

Variable speed limits are implemented to increase safety and provide clear guidance for motorists. Conventional speed limit signs, in contrast, usually list a single speed, generally the maximum rate. The maximum speed limit is generally considered to apply when conditions are optimal: There is no precipitation or fog and the roads are free of snow, water and ice, for example. Drivers are expected to adjust their speed to adapt to any adverse conditions, but there are no rates specified for particular situations.

variable-speed-limitThe lack of specificity of conventional signage can contribute to accidents, speeding tickets and criminal charges. Many motorists assume that posted speed limits apply at all times and drive at that speed in all conditions, but the maximum speed can be quite unsafe at other times. Charges for "excessive speed" can be the result, even though the motorist may have been driving under the posted speed limit. In the event of an accident, excessive speed could be considered dangerous driving and result in criminal charges.

Flexible speed limits solve that problem by adapting so that the posted speed limit is appropriate for the current conditions. Currently, the speed limit indicated on a variable sign is usually determined by a centralized authority, as deemed appropriate for conditions. As the Internet of Things (IoT) develops, however, networked sensors in the environment are likely to automate that process; connected and self-driving cars could also be designed to comply automatically.

This was last updated in April 2017

Continue Reading About variable speed limit (VSL)

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close