Forty-five Lancashire police employees have gone on the two-hour health and safety seminars to teach them how to hang smiley-face speed indicator signs (Spids) on posts by the roadside.
Workers had been erecting the portable signs for months without ladder training until health and safety bosses stepped in.
Staff were then banned from moving the signs between locations until they had special training – leaving devices, which cost up to £3,500, dormant across the county for four months.
A police statement, issued as part of a Freedom of Information request, says: “It would appear that, although working at less than one metre above ground level, staff should have been on a ladder training course.
“It is fair to say that risks associated with deployment of a Spid sign have not changed, but the risks associated with working at height were not fully appreciated initially.”
Questions are being raised about the policy by MPs and pressure groups.
Lancaster and Wyre MP Ben Wallace said: “It’s another example of the tail wagging the dog, of bureaucracy gone mad.
“It beggars belief that bureaucracy stands in the way of common sense, even when it concerns our police force.”
Electronic Spid signs flash up a sad face if motorists are speeding and a smiley face if they are within the limit.
Lancashire police said proper training courses had also been introduced because some of the signs had not been mounted correctly and could not detect all oncoming traffic.
Seminars include advice on what type of ladder should be used, how to carry devices safely and how to set up and maintain signs.
Police officers and civilian workers have also been warned they must wear high-visibility jackets and leggings and cone off the area when installing signs in bad weather – in case pedestrians bump into their ladder.
Eighty-two parish council volunteers and two private contractors have also gone on the courses, organised by the police, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Fire and Rescue, which manages the ladder training.
Authorities say the course does not cost anything, apart from staff time. Nine courses have been held so far.
There are currently around 40 Spid signs in use in Lancashire, many owned by parish councils.
A Preston Council spokesman said all the signs it owned were believed to be currently in use.
Jo Abbott of motoring organisation RAC Foundation said drivers were keen to see the signs up and running.
She said: “I think they act as a good reminder to people who just slip over the speed limit.”