Sign urges speeders to slow down
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—Drivers might notice a new speed radar sign on the road in neighborhoods around Pelham, a new part of the Pelham Police Department’s effort to stop speeding.
“It is a speed detection sign on a trailer, it just looks like a big speed limit sign,” Pelham Deputy Police Chief Larry Palmer said of the sign.
As part of the Pelham Police Department’s continuing effort to get drivers to slow down, the sign tracks, measures and displays the speed of approaching cars.
“A lot of people don’t realize that they’re speeding,” Palmer said. “Just by showing you what you’re doing, that will curb some of the problems.”
The sign also helps police determine areas where speeding is a consistent problem. Along with measuring and displaying speeds, the sign also records the time and top speed of each passing car. It compiles this information into a report, which is then sent to the Police Department. Even when the sign’s display is not active, it is still measuring and recording, Palmer said.
“It shows when would be best for us to set up some further enforcement. It has saved us a lot of manpower,” Palmer said. “We have also identified some areas where stop signs were needed.”
The Police Department has set up the sign on roads where speeding is a “continuous, never-ending cycle,” Palmer said, noting highways 261, 52 and 11.
They have also used the sign in various areas and neighborhoods “where there’s a report of speeding problems,” such as Ballantrae, Chandawood, the Crosscreek area and along the Cahaba Valley Parkway, Palmer explained. Speeding in neighborhoods is problematic due to winding roads, hidden driveways and children playing near the road, especially during the summer months, Palmer said.
Although the sign is very new, Palmer said the department has already received a strong positive response from the community and requests to place the sign in specific neighborhoods.
“All of the feedback that I’ve gotten has been very positive,” Palmer said. “We’re just trying to get people to realize how fast they’re going and to slow down. We just want everyone to slow down.”