Light up signs, optical illusion to increase safety on Highway 97

Highway 97 as it runs through Monte Lake. Google Street View

Ever been caught off guard by a curve in the highway?

The province is turning to vehicle-activated light up signs and an optical illusion to help drivers get safely through Monte Lake on Highway 97.

The Ministry of Transportation is planning to install chevron signs that will light up one after the other as drivers head towards curves. The aim is to alert drivers and give them a cue to check their speed.

“We did a special study here looking at speed and safety in this corridor and it recommended some signage upgrades to assist drivers,” says Murray Tekano a district manager for the ministry. “We’ve had a good experience with them elsewhere in the province.”

The plan is to also put markings on the highway to make drivers feel like they are traveling faster than they actually are with the hope it will encourage them to ease off on the gas pedal. Tekano describes the markings as a series of lines projecting into the road.

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“It is a visual effect,” explains Tekano. “The spacing of the lines changes the deeper into the curve you get. It gives you the illusion of speed and we find that it encourages drivers to slow down.”

The improvements are to be done this spring and will cost an estimated $125,000.

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