Speed reading used to be a course that university students took, to help them plow through piles of textbooks.
But the ministry does another kind of speed reading. Our speed reader boards are electronic signs that use radar to detect the speed of motorists, and then display that information. They let drivers know how fast they are going, and the actual speed limit – which is usually posted underneath or just before the speed reader sign.
Up to now, speed reader signs have been used mostly at freeway work zones, entrances to communities and school zones. However, mobile signs and even permanent speed reader installations, are becoming more common in an attempt to slow motorists down in areas known to have speed related problems. .
Excessive speeding is the cause of many serious traffic accidents, injuries and deaths. By providing instant feedback to motorists, the boards give drivers a heads up about their behaviour.
To keep irresponsible motorists from using the boards to test just how fast their vehicle can go, speed reader boards on provincial highways are usually programmed to go blank when vehicles exceed 30 to 40 km/h over the posted limit. Blank is bad.
Studies have shown that speed reader boards can be effective at reducing motorists’ speeds – both in the short and long term. The ministry will continue to monitor the impact of its speed reader boards on drivers, by using boards that store data, so that average speeds can be tracked over time.
New speed reader boards are being installed in Telkwa, Prince Rupert and Terrace, and more are expected to pop up around the province. So, watch for speed reader board around the province…and watch your speed!