Signage will watch for speeding drivers in Norfolk

Norfolk County has agreed to purchase interactive electronic signage similar to this that will remind passing motorists to slow down if they are exceeding the posted speed limit. Monte Sonnenberg/Delhi New Record

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Local motorists will be receiving electronic reminders to respect the posted speed limit.

After months of lobbying by the Norfolk OPP and the Norfolk Police Services Board, the county has agreed to purchase electronic speed-watch technology.

Most people are familiar with roadside signs telling motorists how fast they are travelling and whether they are within the posted limit.

A large electronic trailer has appeared on occasion in problem areas of Norfolk in recent years. The Norfolk OPP borrowed this from a neighbouring detachment.

At the June 18 meeting, Norfolk council agreed to buy a trailer along with six smaller, post-mounted units that serve the same purpose.

“Other municipalities are way ahead of us in having this signage on their highways,” Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus said.

The total cost of the purchase is $63,500.

Norfolk’s Police Services Board and the Norfolk OPP would like the county to purchase another 24 pole-mounted speed monitors over the next four years. Council, however, has put that on hold until it reviews the county’s road-safety needs.

For Insp. Joe Varga, chief of the Norfolk OPP, the June 18 approved expenditure is a step in the right direction.

Varga likes the electronic signage because it is interactive. Too often, he said, motorists are “mesmerized” by the driving experience and miss passive signage marking a change in the speed limit. Speed-watch signage, he said, snaps them out of it.

“Enforcement alone is not going to solve the speeding issue in the county,” Varga said. “We have to look at other measures, and one of these is the speed-watch signs.”

Speed-watch signs are solar-powered and programmable. Based on radar technology, the signage gives an instant read-out of an approaching vehicle’s speed and says whether it is above or below the posted limit.

Hamlet areas, school zones, construction zones, and areas where there have been complaints about speeding are primary candidates for placement. Part of the attraction of this technology is it can be moved around to problem areas as needed.

 

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