In the 15 years since radar speed sign technology first burst onto the scene, law enforcement departments have been eager to make them part of their traffic calming efforts. This is because the signs are scientifically proven to help reduce drivers’ speeds in both the short and long term. Also known as driver feedback signs, they are budget friendly with low start-up costs and no scheduled maintenance costs.
However, you may be surprised to learn that “effective and affordable” aren’t the only benefits offered by this popular traffic calming solution.
In many cases, the installation of a new sign delivered unexpected wins and some unknown benefits.
Answer a burning, community-wide question: Is speeding actually a problem? Complaints about speeding drivers in residential areas are one of the most common citizen complaints faced by local police departments. Taxpayers want—and deserve—to have their concerns addressed with appropriate care and consideration. Those complaints, which are not limited to any specific geographic area, require a portable way to document driver behaviors (portability should be a key consideration when evaluating driver feedback signs). Some manufacturers offer signs small enough to fit in the trunk of a car, lightweight enough to be installed in minutes by only one officer. Pair this up with software that captures data on driver behaviors and any police department can prove or disprove whether speeding is actually a problem. It’s an efficient and compassionate option.
Educate the public and make better, happier citizens. Impossible you say? Nope, it’s true. There is some really interesting science about how the brain responds to driver speed signs (called feedback loops) that essentially says, Let people know when they are speeding, give them an opportunity to correct their behavior and they will. That’s educating drivers and helping them to be good citizens. The public appreciates a gentle reminder far more than flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror. And an absence of speeding tickets makes for happier citizens.
Driver feedback signs can solve budget and manpower issues - Without robotic stand-ins for police officers, we have to be content with automated features that make very tangible improvements. Radar driver speed signs do accomplish this by automatically reminding drivers to slow down, freeing officers to focus on urgent situations. This, combined with the affordability option, means that most law enforcement departments should see a return on their investment in less than 12 months.
Support faster response times of first responders - We have long known that vertical alterations for traffic calming, like speed bumps and humps, can have a big impact on the work of our fellow first responders. Each hump, bump and even chicane can slow an ambulance or fire truck by 10 seconds. And when lives are on the line, seconds matter.
Adoration and beautification - Let’s be honest, drivers don’t love most traffic calming initiatives. But in a world where they despise speed humps and bumps, driver feedback signs have found legions of fans. In fact, the huge majority of citizens respond positively. These signs look good and can be ordered with custom poles in aluminum or black, enhancing the communities they serve. Even the most persnickety critics can get behind this.
Traffic calming may not be every officer’s favorite daily task, but it’s an important one. Be safe out there.