Local traffic department receives award and thanks for helping to slow cars along busy route to school
PORTLAND, OR, January 5, 2012 – The parents of Blue Angel Elementary School in Pensacola, Florida presented an award earlier this month to the Escambia County’s engineering traffic department in appreciation for two brand new SpeedCheck radar speed signs recently installed along a busy street near the school. The speed displays were two of six SpeedCheck signs that have recently appeared along school routes throughout the county.
“We are working hard to increase the safety of our school children and to encourage the healthy habits of walking and riding bicycles when practical,” said Don Christian III, the safety coordinator for Escambia County. “The radar speed signs are proving to play a significant role in slowing cars along many of the school zone streets where speeding is a problem.”
The radar speed signs were purchased by the county through program grants aimed at providing safe walking routes to the various Escambia County schools. As part of this effort, the county has added street lighting, striping, side railing and more than 30 miles of sidewalks along some of the busiest routes. The objective is to make it safer for the area’s school children and other pedestrians to walk and ride their bikes. The radar speed signs are slowing traffic where flashing beacons and other traffic calming methods proved less than effective on their own.
“We could see results the moment the SpeedCheck signs were first put into operation,” said Christian. “Brake lights came on, average traffic speeds slowed considerably and, most importantly, we are beginning to see more children walking and riding their bikes to school.”
The Florida Department of Transportation recently purchased more than thirty SpeedCheck signs following a rigorous evaluation process and the signs’ listing on the state’s APL (Approved Product List) several years ago. The signs, manufactured in the United States by Information Display Company, were the first permanent-mount radar speed signs to receive APL status by the state of Florida.
“When it comes to traffic safety equipment, Florida is known for its tough standards, so the placement of our speed displays on the Florida DOT’s APL is a significant confirmation of both the quality of our products and the high level of our service,” said Gary ODell, president of Information Display Company. “The real award for excellence, however, comes from the local communities where they see the positive effect that our radar speed signs have on slowing traffic and increasing safety.”
The SpeedCheck signs used in Escambia County are equipped with data collection systems that make it easy to assess the change in traffic patterns. According to county officials, the data shows an average reduction in speed of nearly 10 mph when the signs are in operation.