In Bettendorf, IA, radar signs can now alert speeding drivers even though the speed limit keeps changing.
Bettendorf, IA is one of the Quad Cities and is located in Scott County, Iowa. With a population of around 35,000, it has two school districts with 9 elementary schools located within city limits, as well as several middle schools and high schools.
Like in many school zones, the speed limit around Bettendorf schools isn’t always the same. It can range from 25 to 35 mph, based on the time of day, week, and even year.
At 8:30 am on a Wednesday morning, the speed limit is 25 mph. But on a summer afternoon or say, Christmas Day, it’s 35 mph.
Signs are posted to let drivers know when speed limits change. But the police department wanted a way to warn speeders. However, speeding on a school day would be normal driving on a Sunday. How could the city alert drivers who exceeded the speed limit, when the speed limit is subject to change?
The city was using speed recording boxes to keep track of vehicle speeds and speed trailers to remind drivers to slow down. But they wanted a way to alert drivers that could integrate with the school calendar.
The city purchased 13 Evolution 15 signs to install in local school zones. The signs show drivers their speeds and are mounted alongside speed limit signs. They have a Slow Down message that flashes to warn speeding drivers.
The Evolution signs offer the option to change speeding thresholds based on your own schedule or calendar. This allows the schools to program their calendar right into the signs’ backend. During school hours, the sign warns drivers to slow down. Drivers at the same speed during non-school hours won’t see any warning.
The 13 signs have been installed in elementary, middle, and high school areas. They are being used to reduce school zone speeds and warn drivers to slow down. The police department says that while they chose the signs because of their ability to be programmed with the school calendar, the signs are also easier to deploy and lighter weight than the ones they had used previously.
Sgt. Andrew Champion of the Bettendorf Police Department said that they plan to order more of these signs going forward. He noted that “The service from everyone has been great. From sales to software support, everyone has been really helpful.”