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Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-24-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Are Speed Reader Displays Effective?

Dynamic speed display signs are popping up beside B.C.'s Highways. They display the speed of passing vehicles above a sign showing the posted speed limit. Are these signs useful in persuading drivers to keep to the limit and if so, how effective are they?

According to a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Highway Safety Engineer "These displays have shown effectiveness at reducing overall vehicle speeds shortly following installation. However, the effectiveness of speed reader boards is limited and decreases shortly after drivers pass the board. Longer term effectiveness has not yet been determined." Some studies have shown continuing effectiveness, while others show that success varies. In any case, combining the signs with law enforcement produce the best result.

An example is the sign on the Trans Canada Highway south of Nanaimo that precedes an intersection in an 80 km/h zone with a recurring collision problem. Prior to the installation of a speed reader board the 85th% speed was 96 km/h. Six months after installation, a before/after speed data comparison was carried out and indicated an 85th% speed of 90 km/h. In addition, the data showed that 53% of drivers were travelling less than the posted speed limit.

Hopefully these signs will prove to be a worthwhile investment on their own and coupled with regular speed enforcement contribute to a reduction in collisions.

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Old 04-24-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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Yep, after spending millions to re-do that intersection mess, they closed the barn door nicely. Some driver may say that now there is no reason to slow down...the fear of immediate death from an emerging car or turning gravel truck has gone forever.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:20 PM   #3
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I like when there's an officer set up just down the road from the speed board..
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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at least the new ones cut out after a certain speed. IE a new one near my place the limit is 50. sign only goes to 60 then cuts out and just flashes instead of showing your speed. stops people from seeing how big a number they can get on the sign

not that I ever used to do that or anything.
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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they put theses signs in on River Road in Ladner and they only worked for about 2 weeks where people would slow down as they got close. now eveyone is back to their normal 10-15kph over the limit again
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:44 AM   #6
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The one on #5 road in Richmond doesn't show the speed read-out anymore, but people still slow down for that few hundred meter stretch.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:34 AM   #7
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I like when there's an officer set up just down the road from the speed board..
Used to call that "2 strikes and you are out!". Pass the Speedwatch volunteers and see your speed above the limit, continue speeding and I'm waiting with tickets for those who can't take a hint or a warning.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:44 AM   #8
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^Saw them doing that on Lougheed in Maple Ridge once... hilarious to watch an idiot finger the volunteers as he blows by, then get tagged a block later :IDL
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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i used to do that in mission, was so funny to watch them. they didn't even know that they were tagged :P... and we were good cover, as we would set off the radar detectors, they would blow by, not knowing that there was a cop that was also checking the speed with his car... heh heh
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:09 PM   #10
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Or they could set the speed limit according to the flow of the reasonable majority of drivers and you'd also see a dramatic drop in the numbers of speeders.

I've driven past those speed reader boards and had them flash 20km/hr OVER the speed I was driving. Hopefully the inaccuracy of these will cast doubt on recorded speeds at speed traps.

There was one at the construction site of the new McTavish interchange. It was a 60km/hr work zone. Many people slowed down, but I was the ONLY driver to still be doing 60km/hr at the end of the work zone.

I also got a few nasty looks from drivers when I slowed to 50km/hr to ensure the board didn't read more than 60km/hr.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:33 PM   #11
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Or they could set the speed limit according to the flow of the reasonable majority of drivers and you'd also see a dramatic drop in the numbers of speeders.
Or you'll see those same speeders just go the same amount over the higher limit...

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I've driven past those speed reader boards and had them flash 20km/hr OVER the speed I was driving. Hopefully the inaccuracy of these will cast doubt on recorded speeds at speed traps.
The speed boards use radar guns. Speed traps almost universally now use laser, which is both more selective, and less prone being affected by outside interference. Also, since their results don't have to stand up in court, I doubt the radar units in the speed boards are serviced and calibrated regularly.

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There was one at the construction site of the new McTavish interchange. It was a 60km/hr work zone. Many people slowed down, but I was the ONLY driver to still be doing 60km/hr at the end of the work zone.

I also got a few nasty looks from drivers when I slowed to 50km/hr to ensure the board didn't read more than 60km/hr.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:51 PM   #12
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Or you'll see those same speeders just go the same amount over the higher limit...
Which has actually been proven to be untrue. Drivers will travel at a speed suitable for the conditions, road type, traffic volumes, etc.. If you raise the speed limit it doesn't change the "suitable speed" of the road and drivers will generally still travel according to the road conditions.


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Old 04-26-2011, 06:04 PM   #13
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Which has actually been proven to be untrue. Drivers will travel at a speed suitable for the conditions, road type, traffic volumes, etc.. If you raise the speed limit it doesn't change the "suitable speed" of the road and drivers will generally still travel according to the road conditions.
Which is unsafe for areas such as Playground Zones, School Zones, Construction Zones - where these speed boards would be very suitable for.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Except they stick the boards where the overwhelming majority of drivers safely "speed" on a regular basis.
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