February 24, 2011: NORTHUMBERLAND NEWS.COM: NORTHUMBERLAND, ONTARIO

Calming Traffic at Warkworth- radar speed sign does the trick

93Motorists heading into Warkworth from the west have no excuse for going too fast. A radar speed sign set up near Percy Centennial School lets them know if they're travelling over the 40 km/h speed limit and tells them to slow down.

Activated just last week, it caught two speeding council members by surprise - and they were grateful for the electronic admonition.

'Certainly for me it's pretty effective,' Councillor Kim McNeil drily noted, drawing laughs from her colleagues.

Coun. Bob Crate admitted he also had been caught going over the speed limit by the radar and he was so impressed by its corrective value that he suggested another of the solar-powered pieces of equipment be placed near Hastings Public School.

'That's another spot where we have a problem with excess speed,' he said.

Mayor Hector Macmillan said the radar speed sign is the latest initiative undertaken by Northumberland County to introduce 'traffic calming measures into the community safety zone at the edge of Warkworth.'

It's one of two now in use in the county. The signs cost between $6,000 and $8,000 apiece, Public Works Director Richard Bolduc said.

The one at Warkworth was placed there, 'to stop the dangerous speeding traffic in front of the school and the retirement home across the road,' Mayor Macmillan said. 'The OPP have been doing heightened vigilance there as well.'

Mr. Bolduc told Coun. Crate he would put in a request with the County to have a sign also placed near Hastings Public School.

The Trent Hills Police Services Board supported the idea later the same day.

'I think it would be a great place for one. They really get your attention,' board chairman Greg Farrant said. 'I think it's a useful tool.'

Clerk Shirley Preston noted speeding motorists have become such a concern there the crossing guard was issued a stop sign with flashing light just that day.

Northumberland OPP Detachment Commander Inspector Doug Borton warned the radar speed signs might lose their effectiveness over time, as motorists get used to their presence.

'One of the things you have to be cautious of, is if you start putting them all over the place, then they lose their impact,' he said. 'It becomes just another sign.'

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