New radar sign on Road to the Isles mon­i­tor­ing speed­ers

The Pilot - - News - BY PA­TRICK MUR­PHY Pa­trick.Mur­phy@ad­ver­tis­ernl.ca

There is a new set of eyes on the south side of Lewis­porte, and they are keep­ing watch for fast-mov­ing traf­fic.

The Town of Lewis­porte has in­stalled a new radar speed sign to help re­duce the speed at which ve­hi­cles travel on Road to the Isles.

The area has been a tra­di­tional hot spot for speed­ers com­ing in and out of town. A re­duced speed zone of 60 km/h was cre­ated sev­eral years ago in the pri­mar­ily res­i­den­tial area en­ter­ing Lewis­porte. The prob­lem has per­sisted how­ever, and coun­cil says the new sign has al­ready re­ported a change in driv­ing habits.

The new traf­fic safety de­vice can do a bit more than just mea­sure speed and flash lights, ac­cord­ing to Corb Ran­dall, su­per­in­ten­dent of pub­lic works for the Town of Lewis­porte. It can also record data for anal­y­sis.

“The first week, the sign was in stealth mode,” Ran­dall told coun­cil. “Over the last month the av­er­age speeds have come down; for in­stance, on Mon­day it went from 84 (cars speed­ing) to 78 speed­ing.”

The de­vice mon­i­tors the in­di­vid­ual speed and to­tal num­ber of cars in a 24-hour pe­riod and can also iden­tify the max­i­mum speed on the road­way. Ran­dall says some may be sur­prised at the num­bers, such as 160 km/h on Aug. 11 and 16 at 3 or 4 a.m.

Ran­dall said while ini­tial data was en­cour­ag­ing, the town is hop­ing for bet­ter re­sults over time, and has shared its find­ings with the local RCMP de­tach­ment.

Vi­o­la­tors are not re­stricted to the wee hours of the morn­ing how­ever. When the Pi­lot dropped by the site to take an im­age of the de­vice on a week­day af­ter­noon, vi­o­la­tors were abun­dant. The high­est speed recorded at that time was just un­der 100 km/h.

The radar func­tion has been dis­abled above 104 km/h, in an ef­fort to keep thrill seek­ers from in­ten­tion­ally at­tempt­ing to trig­ger the de­vice on the road­way.

“(The man­u­fac­turer) rec­om­mended we do that,” said Ran­dall. “We were all kids at one time, and if you could see if you can get that sign flash 160 or 170 km/h … so you can’t go out there rac­ing.”

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