TRAFFIC CALMING TRENDS: A Common Sense Approach to Driver Feedback Signs
Driver feedback signs have grown in popularity over the past decade because they are quiet, effective, cost-efficient and well-received by drivers and communities alike. The increasing demand for traffic-calming solutions that offer flexibility in size, location/mobility and power options has caused some confusion for those searching for a solution that fits their needs.
Radarsign™ Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Charlie Robeson, helps to clarify some of the most common misperceptions.
Q: Looking at sizes of signs, it seems that bigger must be better. Is this correct?
A: This is a common misperception. MUTCD sign size guidelines are based on scientific data using driver speeds, sight lines, and distance. Many manufacturers offer oversized signs with LED displays of 15″ tall or larger AND insist that the large display is required to ensure effectiveness. Tests show that a well-designed 11″ LED display is viewable up to 400 feet, providing plenty of response time for speeding drivers to safely react on roads where the speed limit is 35 mph or less. (see chart below)
Federal DOT standards further support this: on similar roads, regulatory speed limit signs also use the same size digits. No government mandates to “super size” driver feedback signs for any reason is great news, especially for neighborhoods and planned-community locations: Our 11″ display signs are more aesthetically pleasing—their size, scale and architectural post options blend beautifully with their surroundings—and they are less expensive. That’s always a benefit!
Q: Some solar-powered signs require an additional box to house batteries. Does this “Green” option have to be big and bulky?
A: Batteries provide back-up power for solar-powered signs to run at night and during inclement weather. The design of most solar-powered driver feedback signs require so much battery back up to ensure operation that a large, separate housing is required for the batteries. This results in a more expensive solution: paying for a second housing, larger batteries and a larger solar panel. However, driver feedback signs from Radarsign require only an integrated battery housing and small solar panel to ensure 24/7 operation of a solar-powered sign. Our design is more energy efficient, cost effective and delivers a superior LED display, while providing +/-2 weeks of operation on fully charged batteries.
Q: Can a radar speed sign stand up to vandalism?
A: To varying degrees, yes and no. This is one sign feature that is easy to evaluate—just get up close and touch one. When comparing construction quality, prospective buyers often describe some brands as “flimsy” and “cheap” while identifying Radarsign’s armored driver feedback signs as “solid” and “rugged.” Most customers do not want to invest thousands of dollars in a product that can be disabled or destroyed with a single act of violence.
Radarsign’s proprietary armored Bashplate™—engineered from an eight-pound slab of jet-grade aluminum—delivers a driver feedback sign that is vandal resilient, weather tight and bullet-resistant.
Radarsign driver feedback signs are, quite simply, the most vandal resistant signs on the market. Why pay more for a driver feedback radar sign that is less vandal resistant?
Q: How do we communicate with, monitor, and manage driver feedback signs?
A: For some brands, communication requires climbing up a pole, opening the sign or physically connecting to the sign via cables. Radarsign products offer a more reasonable method. All of our signs are Wi-Fi enabled, allowing wireless management and data download to a portable, web-enabled device; as well as OTA (over the air) updates which allows the wireless delivery of software updates/upgrades directly to the sign. This can be accomplished in the comfort of your vehicle up to 300 feet from the sign.
Q: Some signs are easier to read than others. How do we evaluate viewablity and readablity?
A: Readability is the most important feature of any driver feedback sign. What good is a sign that can’t be seen?
All driver feedback radar signs utilize LED lights. Radarsign, however, utilizes directional beam technology achieved by precision drilling 288 beveled cone-shaped holes—one for each super bright amber LED—into the armored Bashplate. Used exclusively by Radarsign, the cone-shaped reflectors—conceptually similar to those used in flashlights—direct the light forward, making it brighter without the energy demands of similar products. Would you purchase a flashlight with no reflective cone around it?
While other manufacturers offers a choice between high viewability or a longer lasting battery, Radarsign’s highly efficient design provides both, and at no additional cost. Today, Radarsign driver feedback signs provide the brightest and most highly-visible display on the market.