Town of Queen Anne has its own elec­tronic speed sign

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEEN ANNE — The Town of Queen Anne has taken steps to in­sure that all ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing the town know that the speed limit on all its streets is 25 miles an hour.

It re­cently pur­chased a so­lar-pow­ered elec­tronic sign that de­tects the speed of ap­proach­ing ve­hi­cles and puts it up on a screen for driv­ers to see. The sign is be­ing po­si­tioned at var­i­ous times on Route 303 and Al­ter­nate Route 404 be­cause they are the main streets in the town.

The sign has been in use since April 15 and town of­fi­cials like what they’ve seen so far.

“It re­ally helps out to slow them down a bit,” said Mayor Randy Esty as he stood next to the speed sign, which is cur­rently on Route 303 com­ing from neigh­bor­ing Hills­boro. Dur­ing a 10-minute pe­riod, all the ve­hi­cles that passed the sign ei­ther slowed down or were do­ing 25 or un­der as they en­tered the area.

“We want them to be aware about the speed limit be­cause we have more chil­dren in town now,” Esty said. Traf­fic vol­ume of­ten picks up when there’s an ac­ci­dent on Route 404 or traf­fic comes through the town be­cause of con­struc­tion on Route 404, he said. “Some­times, they bar­rel through town,” the mayor said.

The town com­mis­sion­ers were get­ting com­plaints from town res­i­dents for some time about ve­hi­cles go­ing too fast through town, but for­tu­nately, there have been no speed-re­lated in­ci­dents, Esty said. The town asked the sher­iff’s of­fices in both Queen Anne’s and Tal­bot coun­ties what could be done be­cause both share ju­ris­dic­tion since the town strad­dles the line be­tween the two coun­ties.

Both sher­iff’s of­fices have pro­vided tem­po­rary elec­tronic speed signs and put pa­trol cars in the town to dis­cour­age speed­ing, ac­cord­ing to the mayor. “We’ve got­ten lots of co­op­er­a­tion from (Tal­bot County Sher­iff) Joe Gam­ble and (Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff) Gary Hof­mann,” Esty said. “They’ve been re­ally good to deal with.”

The town com­mis­sion­ers then de­cided to buy their own $2,800 elec­tronic sign that can be placed wher­ever and when­ever of­fi­cials feel it is needed. Esty said it is de­signed to sup­ple­ment the en­force­ment mea­sures of the sher­iff’s of­fices.

The sign is dark un­til a ve­hi­cle comes within range and it then mea­sures the speed and posts it so the driver can see it. Be­cause the sign is so­lar pow­ered there is no need for bat­ter­ies or other elec­tri­cal equip­ment, Esty said.

Ex­cept for one small town in Delaware, the mayor said he knows of no other towns in the re­gion that have bought their own elec­tronic speed sign, but some have ex­pressed in­ter­est in do­ing so.

“We think it’s a novel ap­proach,” he said.

Queen Anne Mayor Randy Esty stands by the town’s newly pur­chased elec­tronic speed sign. He said it can be moved to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions as con­di­tions war­rant. The sign sup­ple­ments speed en­force­ment mea­sure by lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies, he said.

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