A new set of high-tech radar speed signs has a big purpose in Rochester Hills: to increase safety around schools.
Four of the signs — two on Old Perch near and two on Hamlin Road near — have been in place for awhile and are to go online today; 22 additional signs will be added in the coming months.
When they're all up and running, Rochester Hills leaders say the city will have the most comprehensive school safety zone program in Oakland County. “The deployment of radar speed signs can have a dramatic impact on reducing traffic speeds, particularly near schools, playgrounds and on other residential streets,” Mayor Bryan K. Barnett said.
The new signs look similar to existing radar speed signs — they announce on a digital screen the speed of an approaching vehicle.These signs are also designed to collect data about traffic, average speeds and the number of speeding cars. This will, in turn, give the Oakland County Sheriff's Office information on where patrols are needed.
In an area around a school, the speed limit is 25 mph. The city identified locations for the signs by looking at school areas with the highest traffic flows and speed violations.
In addition to data collecting, the signs also will serve as a deterrent for motorists around schools. “Radar speed signs increase school zone safety by refocusing driver attention away from distractions and back to his or her current rate of speed,” Oakland County Sheriff's Captain Michael Johnson said. “In this era of limited resources, the data we collect will allow us to become more effective and address the real acute speeders within the school safety zones and residential areas.”
The signs were purchased by the city through a $305,000 grant in partnership with the sheriff's office.