If you have been greeted by a big red sad face as you were driving down Columbia Avenue, then you have already seen the City of Castlegar’s newest tool in the battle against irresponsible driving.
The city has acquired speed reader/indicator signs that will be moving to various locations around town in order to make drivers more aware of their speed. Driving too fast — red sad face, driving just right — green smiley face.
Over the last few years, Castlegar’s public safety committee received numerous complaints about vehicles speeding, especially in areas frequented by children — leading to the purchase of the new signs.
Data from the signs is collected including the date, time, the number of vehicles and speed recorded. The signs were located near Kia clocking speeds heading north and near Kootenay Market clocking speeds heading south.
The first set of data from the time the signs were on Columbia Avenue between Oct. 20 and Nov. 6 is now available and shows that some people have confused Columbia Avenue with a highway.
The highest speed recorded on the north end of town was 106 km/hr. In the south end, it was 111 km/hr.
The data showed that 150 people were travelling 20 km or more over the posted speed limit.
About 85 per cent of drivers were driving within five km/hr over the speed limit or less — meaning 15 per cent of drivers through Castlegar were speeding.
The data shows there is an increase in speeding during the lunch hour and in the morning hurry-to-work hours.
During the 18-day period, 102,559 vehicles passed the south sign and 93,935 vehicles passed the north sign.
The solar-powered signs are located on 9th Avenue in the south end of Castlegar. The signs will be moved around periodically to other areas that have seen numerous speeding complaints.