Back-to-school traffic safety is a priority for staff, parents, and students as the beginning of the school year approaches. Radar speed and message signs are essential tools to reduce speeding in school zones. By providing real-time speed feedback to drivers, motorists will be aware of their actual speed which will get their attention and encourage them to slow down and obey their school zone speed limit. In addition, these speed and message boards can provide visual cues that remind drivers of the importance of adhering to posted speeds when children are present, which can save lives. Radar speed and message board signs are an effective way to create a safer environment for children (as well as parents and teachers) in school zones.
What are Radar Message Boards?
Also known as ‘radar speed and message signs’, these electronic boards are traffic devices that measure the speed of vehicles passing by. They display this information to drivers in real-time through a digital display. These signs can also show messages such as “Slow Down” or “Speed Limit 25 MPH” to remind drivers of the posted speed limit. They can display live speed from cars driving by, and share messages unrelated to the driver’s speed, or they can do both: display speed and display messages based on certain speed bands determined by users.
Radar message signs are equipped with multiple sign modes. Users can utilize solely the message function to display important safety information to their community. They can also utilize speed-dependent messaging mode, which we go into further detail below. These signs regularly keep track of road traffic data, and they can still collect data even though the sign isn’t displaying a message or driver’s speed in what is often referred to as “stealth mode.” That way data can be collected on drivers’ behaviors without the sign notifying them to slow down. Users can oscillate between these modes easily to run studies and identify the needs of their department and the community.
Benefits of Utilizing Radar Speed and Message Board Signs to Assist with Back-to-School Traffic Safety Measures:
Effectively Reduce Speeding
According to research conducted at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs (DSFS) have demonstrated their effectiveness in school zones. The overall estimated reduction in speed was 3.21 mph across all types of vehicles during the activation of DSFS in school zones (Fisher, Donald L. et al., 2021). Further, studies have revealed that the speed reduction effect of DSFS in school zones can last up to 12 months (O’Brien & Simpson, 2012) and can result in speed reductions of as much as 9 mph (Ullman & Rose, 2005).
A different study that analyzed the effectiveness of radar speed displays at multiple locations found that the radar speed feedback signs were effective in reducing speeds in school zones (Jeihani, M., Ardeshiri, A., & Naeeni, A., 2012). Furthermore, a separate study demonstrated the long-lasting effectiveness of radar speed display signs in curbing driver speeds. Over a span of one year or more, these signs resulted in an average reduction of six to eight mph at transition points (Sandberg, W., Schoenecker, T., Sebastian, K., & Soler, D., 2008).
The evidence is clear: radar speed displays are effective when it comes to reducing speeding
Additionally, this technology is a cost-effective way for cities and municipalities to improve traffic safety in school zones without having to invest in costly infrastructure projects.
Encourage Safer Driving Behaviour
Speed-dependent messaging is a traffic management feature in radar speed feedback and message signs that can further assist with reducing speeding in school zones. This feature allows the user to create custom messages to display based on the speed of a car passing by such as “Slow Down” or “Speed Limit: 25 MPH” or “Too Fast”. By providing motorists with real-time feedback about their speed, this technology encourages drivers to practice safer driving habits and reduce their speed in school zones.
The messages to drivers don’t always have to be critical though. With conditional messaging, users can have the sign display “Thank you” or “Thx 4 Driving Safe” when drivers are going the speed limit.
These signs are tools that can help remind drivers to mind their speed, and thank drivers who are conscious of the speed limit and are obeying it! This is especially useful in school zones, where buses and children are crossing the street to go to and from school.
Optime Enforcement with Road Traffic Data Collection
Traffic data collected from these signs can be used to help prioritize enforcement for law enforcement to make sure that they are deploying officers effectively when there are actual (and not just perceived) speed violators in the school zones.
If drivers are speeding more around 9:00 am -11:00 am on Monday mornings – police officers and school safety officers can be there at that specific time and enforce the speed limit when a majority of the speed violators will be there. That way police departments can optimize an officer’s time and avoid them having to stay in the same spot all day in order to catch speeders. Officers can spend their time on other matters and use the road traffic data collection feature to determine when they should go to enforce the school zone speed limit.
Generating traffic reports based on the data that is collected by the radar speed and message sign can help easily illustrate problem times and problem areas – making it easier to help everyone understand when drivers are speeding.
In addition to identifying hot spots to prioritize enforcement, web-enabled speed and message traffic signs connected to TraffiCloud offer another benefit: the ability to easily share traffic data and ready-made reports with other departments, colleagues and residents.
Guide Traffic for School Events
Paired with other traffic safety measures, these signs are an effective way to guide traffic for school events. By providing speed feedback, event information and traffic guidance with portable signs that can be managed remotely, cities can create a safe environment for students and parents attending school activities.
Engage with Students, Faculty, and Parents
These signs can be used to not only provide information to students, parents, and the community as a whole – it can also be a way to share positive messages! Whether it’s state testing, a big sports game, or congratulating students on graduating: they can provide positive messages that will help uplift the students and the community!
A Proven Solution: SpeedAlert Radar Speed and Message Signs Enabled with TraffiCloudⓇ
SpeedAlert Radar Speed and Message Signs can provide all of the benefits listed above to help reduce speeding and share information in school zones. The SpeedAlert 18 and SpeedAlert 24 radar message signs are highly regarded for their versatility, durability, user-friendly design, and quick deployment features. These multipurpose devices provide immediate feedback to drivers by displaying speed-specific messages such as “Slow Down”, “Too Fast!”, or “Have a Nice Day”. They can also display dedicated alert messages like “Flood Warning” or “Amber Alert”, making them adaptable to various situations. Mounting these devices is straightforward and universal, allowing them to be installed on portable posts, poles, ultra-portable trailers, or vehicle hitches within minutes.
Built to last, the SpeedAlert radar message signs feature a welded aluminum enclosure, concealed mounting hardware, shatterproof Lexan, and a graffiti-resistant powder coat. This makes them exceptionally rugged, durable, and weatherproof. They also offer flexible power options, accommodating a range of sources including lithium batteries, integrated solar, AC, or trailer power. A dedicated compartment simplifies battery exchange in any weather conditions.
Other features include the ability to display speed data or speed-dependent messages, easy management through onboard buttons, and the capability to collect volume and speed data even when the sign is in message mode.
If they are enabled with TraffiCloud, that means that users can remotely access the signs from anywhere with an Internet connection. Meaning you can update the messages and settings on your sign, as well as get alerts about your sign being tampered with or if the sign registers a low battery. On top of remote access, with TraffiCloud users can easily analyze data and generate six ready-made reports to easily display data collected from SpeedAlert.
SpeedAlert signs are invaluable tools for reducing speeding in school zones. These signs provide real-time feedback to drivers, encouraging them to slow down and adhere to posted speed limits. Features like speed-dependent messaging not only help enforce speed regulations but also commend drivers who comply with them, encouraging safe driving behavior. Moreover, the data collected from these signs can optimize law enforcement’s efforts, making our roads safer for everyone, especially children. These signs are an investment in safety, efficiency, and community spirit – a step towards a safer future for our children.
If you want to learn more about how SpeedAlert can assist with back-to-school traffic safety measures, you can click here to learn more!
About All Traffic Solutions
All Traffic Solutions is the trusted source for digital speed display signs, offering options such as the Shield 12 and Shield 15 signs, along with the SpeedAlert 18 and SpeedAlert 24 radar speed and message signs. Our radar speed solutions are durable, lightweight, ultra-portable solutions perfect for deployments, temporary or permanent.
- Fisher, Donald L. et al. (2021). Effectiveness of Dynamic Speed feedback signs, Volume I: Literature review and meta-analysis. https://doi.org/10.21949/1526025
- Jeihani, M., Ardeshiri, A., & Naeeni, A. (2012). Evaluating the effectiveness of dynamic speed display signs. National Transportation Center, Department of Transportation and Urban Infrastructure Studies.
- O’Brien, S., & Simpson, A. (2012). Effectiveness of DSFS in school zones.
- Sandberg, W., Schoenecker, T., Sebastian, K., & Soler, D. (2008). Long-Term Effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Monitoring Displays (DSMD) for Speed Management at Speed Limit Transitions.
- Ullman, G., & Rose, E. (2005). Impact of DSFS on vehicle speed reduction.