Speed Reading for Safety

electronic signs using radar to detect the speed of motorists
That’s How Fast You Were Going

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 around the province. So, watch for speed reader board around the province…and watch your speed!

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Page 1 of 7 comments on “Speed Reading for Safety”

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  1. The speed reader board on Highway 1 SB (Malahat) north of Okotoks Rd doesn’t flash when vehicles exceed the speed limit, it just displays the speed in a static fashion. Is it intentionally programmed this way?
    The speed reader boards on Highway 1 NB near Leigh Rd and SB near Westshore Pkwy have the same behaviour and don’t flash either.

    • Hello Colton,

      Thanks for your question. The boards at these locations only have the capability to show a static (non-flashing) display. Hope this information is helpful.

  2. I live in an electoral area and MOTI is responsible for the roads So we can’t ask our municipality to change things and unfortunately our elected official is useless and keeps giving us excuses as to why kids have to die before anything gets done in our school zones and other areas of our community when it comes to road Saftey. Our community would really like to work with MOTI to accomplish a few relatively simple things before someone gets dies. We understand that there’s never enough money to accomplish all the projects on your to do list but if our community can help out in any way please reach out to me and maybe we could help get some things done. Thank you!

    • Hi there,

      Please contact our local area office to share your concerns.

      Saanich Area
      240 – 4460 Chatterton Way
      Victoria, BC V8X 5J2

      Hours of Operation:
      8:30 am to noon
      1 pm to 4:30 pm
      Monday to Friday

  3. Hello,
    I am interested in speed reader boards for one of the streets near my school, I would like to know how much they cost and how they are warrant to be placed in a cite and if there are any organizations that could help me fundraise for this cause.
    Thank you

    • Hi Omar,

      Thanks for connecting with us here. We are responsible for the provincial highways system while your local municipality will be responsible for the streets near your school. We suggest connecting directly with administrative personnel at your local municipality about the speed reader. They might also be able to help you with the cost of the sign, or you could bring a cost to the school advisory council and see if their budget could cover the cost that way. Hope that this helps!

  4. Aloha,
    I’m interested in getting a Speed Reading sign for our site and want to find out how I would order a sign and how much it cost. Thank you