In Conversation – Olly Samways from Westcotec and Paul Storey from Durham County Council


Olly Samways, Head of Sales & Marketing from Westcotec Traffic Safety Systems talks with Paul Storey, Traffic Engineer from Durham County Council on how innovative road signage has eliminated collisions at an accident black spot.

Westcotec pledge to innovate at any given opportunity. The next step in vehicle detection enabled us to team up with thermal camera manufacturer FLIR to build a unique collision avoidance system on a staggered junction near the city of Durham. The system, consisting of two Westcotec solar powered Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) and two FLIR thermal sensors, has helped change driver behavior and reduce the number of collisions to zero. 

The staggered crossroad on the B6532 in Durham was a proven accident black spot. Between 2012 and 2017 alone, one fatal, two serious, and six non-injury collisions were reported. Paul Storey from Durham County Council decided to take action to prevent further incidents and entered conversations with Westcotec for a reliable safety solution.

The staggered junction now features two electronic signs – one in each direction – with warning triangles, corner amber flashers and a message that reads, “TURNING TRAFFIC” beneath. The electronic signs warn motorists of the potential hazards at the crossroads, but only when vehicles are detected on the sides road and/or have stopped on the main carriageway to enter the side road.

In the case of Durham, the connection between the electronic signs and the thermal sensors utilise radio communications, which makes the installation even more maintenance-friendly. The signs work on solar power, which eliminated the need for a large amount of digging and ducting.

To find out more about this type of system or the others mentioned in the video, please contact our sales team on +44 1362 853124 or email

[ norwich website development by fluffyegg. ]