Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Radar Speed Sign 2.0: How a Small Town Calmed Its Traffic

To get a handle on drivers whizzing through its main road, the small town of Betterton, Maryland installed a "smart" radar speed sign. The data it collected helped the local sheriff's department improve traffic enforcement.
January 18, 2018, 12pm PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Richard Drdul

For Governing, Mayor Don Sutton of Betterton, Maryland writes, "In 2016, the challenge facing Betterton was a familiar one: drivers speeding through town. We found a surprising and cost-effective solution -- and one that illustrates how the use of data and analytics is not the province only of bigger, resource-rich cities."

The tiny town, with a population of only 400 year-round residents, contracts with the local sheriff's department for traffic enforcement services. A "smart" radar speed sign was deployed to help make that enforcement more effective. "The one we installed in November 2016, which cost about $3,500, came with software that captures data on driver speeds and documents the time of day that speeding occurs."

Sutton says that "For the first time we could use analytics to see when drivers were actually speeding." He goes on, "Of course, radar speed signs cannot replace law-enforcement officers, but they can certainly do a fine job of augmenting their work. That's because the signs operate 24/7 with or without an officer present, which maximizes our investment."

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 in Governing
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email