City of Austin to bring in more 'speed display' signs for targeted roadways

You probably have seen the real time speeding signs placed around town. They are called dynamic speed display devices.

"They display the speeds of others approaching cars to the drivers with the hopes that they'll get the driver's attention," said Eric Bollich, managing engineer and division manager at Austin Transportation Department.

There are already 97 of these portable and fixed devices scattered across the city. The department has a request-based system for neighborhoods who want the device installed.

"The signs will typically be installed on neighborhood streets for about six weeks at a time. During that time, we can collect speed and volume data," said Bollich.

Now, you can expect to see more of them. The Austin City Council approved a more than $600,000 contract with Traffic Logix Corporation to add 25 more by the end of July. 

They will be deployed in early August. Another 15 devices will come in September.

"The sad thing is people get used to them," said Ken Casaday, president of Austin Police Association.

Casaday said he is not sure that the signs will make a huge difference.

"It really doesn't do you any good because there are no police officers our there actually writing tickets and enforcing the law," he said.

Casaday said before, the department would use the DSDDs along with writing tickets to get better results. He said short staffing has slowed those kinds of efforts, and cops are too busy with other calls, and not traffic safety enforcement.

"To show you how bad it is, the chief has had to make the decision to send people who work in homicide, robbery and child abuse, back to patrol to answer calls on occasion," he said.

APD sent a statement to FOX 7 Austin:

"APD is not part of the installation of new DSDD devices. We have a couple of mobile devices that help address community concerns regarding speeding. The new devices cited in the memo are being purchased by ATD and APD has no plans on using them for any type of enforcement efforts. However, we hope that reminders of speed limits and the display of speeds by motorists will have a positive impact on bringing down speeds."

Casaday is on board with adding the devices, but can only hope drivers obey the law.

"We have people who just don't follow the law, and a lot of times the only thing they understand is a traffic ticket or going to jail," said Casaday.