LED-lit signs to remind drivers of speed limit

First test signage goes up in North Kitsap in January

Kitsap County public works department will install signage using LED technology as part of a test project in North Kitsap in January. (Kitsap County Public Works)

Kitsap County public works department will install signage using LED technology as part of a test project in North Kitsap in January. (Kitsap County Public Works)

PORT ORCHARD — Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for the Kitsap County public works department, says his group gets plenty of complaints by residents about vehicles speeding on county roads.

“It’s challenging to try to change drivers’ behavior when it comes to speeding,” Shea said. “One of the reasons for non-compliance we hear from motorists is they don’t see the speed limit signs.”

Shea said the public works department is working to incorporate existing technology to remind motorists of the speed limit, thanks to LED lighting capabilities.

Signage that includes the lighting is scheduled to be installed at Hood Canal Drive Northeast in North Kitsap sometime during January.

“We’re installing LED lights around the border of “speed limit” signs on Hood Canal Drive to see if they are effective,” Shea said.

The sign lights are activated when a vehicle approaches the sign, he said. The lights flash at every approaching vehicle without regard to the speed they are traveling. Shea said the signs don’t give drivers feedback on how fast they are going.

“This is a relatively inexpensive way that reminds motorists of the speed limit and allows them to adjust their speed accordingly,” Shea said.

The public works department also will be placing traffic counters on the signs that record vehicle volumes and speeds.

“We’ll compare data we get from the counters with existing data for Hood Canal Drive and see if this helps reduce speeds.”

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