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Madison to purchase portable radar speed sign

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A sign on Hyder Drive in Madison Village urges motorists to drive slowly to ensure the safety of children. Madison Village Council and administrators are looking for ways to deal with reports of excessive speeding on Hyder Drive.

Madison Village Police soon will add a portable radar speed sign to their inventory of equipment.

Village Council, at its March 18 meeting, approved the purchase of the sign, as well as related software and brackets, for $3,270.

That same legislation received a first reading at council’s March 4 meeting. But the panel could not pass the measure on an emergency basis that night because it lacked the four votes needed to suspend council rules. Council members H.O. Jay Adams and Duane Frager were absent from that session, leaving just three remaining members to vote.

At the March 18 meeting, all five council members were in attendance and passed the ordinance by a 4-1 vote. Councilman Mark Vest cast the lone “no” vote on the ordinance as well as a purchase order to acquire the sign and accessories from A & A Safety.

Vest said he believes targeted, assigned enforcement by police officers is a more effective way to addressing speeding complaints.

“I’d rather be spending money that way if we’re going to spend it,” he said.

Police Chief Troy McIntosh previously said the sign is a portable item that can be easily moved if reports are received of traffic concerns in different areas.

“We can leave it there and be able to determine what kind of problem we have, the time of the day it might be occurring, and it could help us to do some targeted enforcement in these areas,” he said.

McIntosh said on March 19 he placed the order for the sign earlier the same day.

“I’m guessing we should see it sometime next week, and maybe after some setup and training, deploy it the following week,” he said.

The idea of buying a portable radar speed sign arose at a Feb. 19 workshop during which council and other village leaders discussed complaints of speeding on Hyder Drive.

Rick Goodnight, a Hyder Drive resident, appeared at the Jan. 7 council meeting, and said that his dog had been run over on the street. The motorist then stopped and admitted to driving 40 mph — 15 mph over the street’s posted speed limit — at the time the canine was struck.

Goodnight said he has noticed vehicles speeding frequently on Hyder Drive and was concerned that a child might get injured or killed.

McIntosh told council at the Feb. 19 workshop that police had been making frequent visits to Hyder Drive since Goodnight addressed council in January, but hadn’t detected any speeding issues on the street.

In addition, the chief said March 4 that along with enhanced police surveillance in the early part of the year, he researched traffic crashes and citations on the street for a longer period of time.

“We looked back over the last two years and we didn’t find that there’s been a single other accident up there on Hyder Drive. And very few citations have been issued up there,” he said.

Frager, at the March 18 meeting, asked McIntosh about the “game plan” for using the new portable radar speed sign.

McIntosh said he didn’t have any specific targeted areas at this point.

“But the one that we know of that we’ve had any repeat speeding complaints, I would say that West Main Street is probably our most common area of complaints, so that would probably be the next area that I would take it to.”

The batteries that power the sign last for about a week and a half before they need to be recharged.

“So we could move (the sign) fairly regularly,” McIntosh said.



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