You see them all over the city — digital signs displaying both the posted speed limit and how fast you’re driving. Now, a few years after crews began installing “driver feedback signs,” the City of Edmonton says they’ve proven to be very successful in slowing down drivers and reducing collisions.
The city has about 215 of the solar-powered signs situation in locations throughout Edmonton. They’re posted alongside speed limit signs and display your current speed. If you’re going 10 kilometres or more above the speed limit, the sign flashes “too fast” or “slow down.”
The signs are meant to be a friendly reminder to drivers to slow down, and the city says they’re working.
“On average, we’ve seen drivers reduce 12 kilometres per hour when they’re in a zone with a driver feedback sign. So that’s a massive success for us,” said Jessica Lamarre, acting director of Traffic Safety with the city.
In addition, Lamarre said the number of collisions has dropped since the first signs were installed in 2016.
“We’re working closely with the University of Alberta right now and their preliminary research shows that we’ve had a reduction of collisions up to 45 per cent as a result of these driver feedback signs.”
Lamarre attributes the instant feedback to signs’ success.
“Sometimes that’s helpful. We can lose track of it, go a little faster than we should be and when we’re reminded we slow down to meet the speed limit.”
The signs aren’t just for direct driver feedback. Data from the signs is collected and used to help the city decide where to place traffic-calming measure and photo enforcement.
At this point, Lamarre said there are no plans to drastically increase the number of signs in Edmonton, but research is being done to determine the program’s next steps.
“We’re working on a new safe mobility strategy for the city. Based on the success of this and some research coming from the U of A, we’ll be taking a better look at where we put them, how many we have and how often we’re using them,” she said.
“They’ve been really effective but we don’t want to overuse them either.”
The data collected from the signs is uploaded weekly for the public to view. For more information on the program, visit the city’s website.
WATCH BELOW (Sept. 24): Across Edmonton, the driver-feedback signs — that inform drivers if they’re going too fast — appear to be influencing driver behaviour. Vinesh Pratap reports.