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Ross installing radar warning signs to get drivers to slow down

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Ross Township police recently installed the first of three radar speed warning signs it purchased to remind drivers to slow down. The sign was erected along Rochester Road. Locations for the other signs are still being decided.

Ross police say speeding is among the most frequently reported complaints from township residents.

And while they take a no-nonsense approach when it comes to curbing speeding — especially in residential areas — they can’t be everywhere all the time.

So the township is using technology to help remind motorists just how fast they are going.

The first of two permanently mounted solar-powered speed radar signs has been installed along Rochester Road, officials announced at the Aug. 5 commissioners meeting. Police are still deciding where to install the second sign, which displays the maximum speed limit on the road and flashes how fast a vehicle is traveling as it passes.

A third radar sign is mounted on a trailer so it can be used to target areas where speeding becomes a problem.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback (about the signs) from the public,” said police Chief Joe Ley.

Commissioner Jeremy Shaffer said some of the research he has done indicates that warning drivers about their speed can help get them to slow down.

He said the cost of installing the signs appears to provide “a particularly high return on investment.”

“After the first one went up on Rochester Road, we got a lot of requests from people to put them in other areas,” he said, suggesting that the police department consider expanding their use in the future.

Ley said while all indications are that the radar sign along Rochester Road “has been effective,” too much of a good thing can be a problem.

“I would caution that we don’t put too many up because they become like white noise and people get tired of seeing them,” he said.

Board President Steve Korbel said decisions about the number and location of speed warning signs that are put up should be well thought out.

“I appreciate that everybody in the township wants one on their street,” he said. “But I think if we are going to go down this path, which I think is a good idea, we need to ask the chief to study it and make recommendations.

“For as cheap as they are, it makes sense to put them up in areas where we really need them, not where we (the board) wants them or where residents want them,” he said. “I want them to be supported by data.”

Ley noted that the total cost for the three radar signs was about $7,500 when they were ordered last year.



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