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New Signs Post Drivers' Speed

New Signs Post Drivers' Speed

Posted - Feb. 19, 2004 at 4:25 p.m.



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Keith McCord ReportingYou're driving down the street and there's a speed limit sign on a pole. Do you ever check to see if you are obeying that limit?

Salt Lake City is trying an experiment in a Rose Park neighborhood tonight. People speed thru there all this time, by an average of 8-miles per hour over the speed limit.

New Signs Post Drivers' Speed

To get folks to slow down, the city is trying an experiment with so-called "DFB" (Driver Feedback) signs. If you're going too fast-- you'll know it immediately!

Dan Bergenthal, Transportation Engineer: "We receive a lot of complaints from the neighbors. We've also done some speed studies out here that have show that the speeds are a little high."

Dan Bergenthal is talking about a stretch of 600 North, between 11th and 13th West. The flashing numbers mean the motorist is going too fast. Now drivers will have no excuses because the speed limit sign and new digital readouts are on the same pole.

Dan Bergenthal: "They don't take pictures, they don't issue tickets, nothing like that. It's more of an informational thing to let people know that they're speeding."

And you can tell when a driver spots the sign-- the numbers drop quickly.

Salt Lake City does a number of things to try to get drivers to slow down:
--Speed bumps are the most popular;
--Landscaping islands also work, because they cause drivers to veer around the curbing;
--The city is also experimenting with "traffic circles" or "roundabouts" at some intersections.

They all work, but they're expensive to build. One speed bump, for example, costs about $12,000. One of the DFB signs is about $5,000.

And police officers say the signs will help them in their daily patrols.

Dwayne Baird, Salt Lake City Police Department: "And that's what we use it for is a tool, to allow us to gather data and research, if you will, to see if we need to send an officer in those locations, where we will have enforcement increased for that very reason."

Several other states have used these radar signs with success. If they work here, Salt Lake will put up more of them.

One other benefit-- these signs will collect and store data, so engineers can examine it later to see if more people are slowing down.

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