An imaging system for a vehicle includes an imaging device having a field of view exteriorly and forward of the vehicle in its direction of travel, and an image processor operable to process the captured images in accordance with an algorithm. The algorithm comprises a sign recognition routine and a character recognition routine. The image processor processes the image data captured by the imaging device to detect signs in the field of view of the imaging device and applies the sign recognition routine to determine a sign type of the detected sign. The image processor is operable to apply the character recognition routine to the image data to determine information on the detected sign. The image processor applies the character recognition routine to the captured images in response to an output of the sign recognition routine being indicative of the detected sign being a sign type of interest.