SPD Tries Interactive Signs to Slow Motorists

 04/06/2017 - 19:23
This vehicle was moving at 29 miles per hour but slowed down to 25 miles per hour by the time it passed a new interactive speed sign on South Ann Arbor Street.

A new interactive speed sign that clocks motorists and flashes at speeders is slowing down drivers on South Ann Arbor Street.

The sign was installed on an existing speed limit sign at the intersection of South Ann Arbor Street and Pleasant Ridge Drive. As southbound drivers approach the sign, it tells drivers how fast they are driving. If drivers are traveling five miles-per-hour over the speed limit, it flashes at them. If they are speeding 10 miles-per-hour over the limit, a strobe light will flash at them.

“They’re a great tool for slowing down drivers,” Police Chief Larry Hrinik said. “Many communities have taken advantage of the technology.”

Saline City Council member Dean Girbach lives on South Ann Arbor Street. He noticed an immediate impact.

“So cool. The city staff surprised us all with a small interactive speed sign at Pleasant Ridge and South Ann Arbor.  I hoped we would some day, but this is spectacular,” Girbach said. “Cars are already paying attention and hitting the brakes.”

Girbach’s neighbor Kristine Frey agreed.

“I'm happy something has been done, finally! There are far too many walkers, dogs, kids on our street and people fly through and/or speed up as they approach Pleasant Ridge or the hill,” Frey said.

Not everyone agrees.

“My truck tells me how fast I’m going. That’s just my take. Why waste money on a sign that most people will ignore anyway?” asked Tyler Nesmith.

The Saline Post spend a few minutes watching drivers interact with the sign on April 5. Cars weren’t driving recklessly. But a majority were traveling a few miles per hour over the limit. As they approached and saw the sign, they slowed down.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, Chief Hrinik said.

“People generally know when they are exceeding the speed limit by a significant amount. But if you’re driving five or even 10 miles over, you may not know it. This sign makes drivers aware of it and they slow down,” Hrinik said.

The sign on South Ann Arbor Street is a demo version loaned to the city for four weeks. The sign will spend two weeks on South Ann Arbor Street before it’s moved to a new location.

Hrinik said The Saline Police Department is asking for two signs in the new city budget. They cost $3,500 to $4,000, Hrinik said.

The signs also have the ability to provide the SPD with useful data about the number of drivers to speed.

“It provides wonderful print outs about average speeds that can be indexed by the time of day,” Hrinik said. “If the data shows that people are speeding too much on North Maple Road at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, then we can have the sign out there, or we can step up enforcement.”

 

 

Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is owner of The Saline Post. Email him at tran@thesalinepost.com or call him at 734-272-6294

Follow the author on         or visit   Personal Blog

Comments

salinesal's picture

These signs work to lower travel speeds. This is a much better way to promote safe driving speeds rather than ticketing people and ultimately punishing people that had no intention of breaking the law.  This is a wonderful way to use information and not intimidation to get speed limit compliance. My compliments to the forward thinking of the Saline Police Department. This certainty is contradiction to the stereotype that the job of police personal is merely to generate money for the government.

frankweir's picture

Maybe this summer the sign could be placed on Willis Road near Rosemont at Wilderness Park. Drivers just fly down this stretch of road and in good weather there are lots of kids, dog walkers, crossing Willis to go to the park or to Canterbury Park at the corner of Willis and South Ann Arbor too. It's hopeless to slow down drivers here without two or three manned  24-hour squad cars apparently! Been like this for years. Moms in vans full of  kids speeding down here?? That really gets me. How 'bout I speed in YOUR neighborhood while YOUR kids are playing? Golden Rule folks!