The radar sign flashed 53 miles per hour but as the vehicle approached people in front of the Butler Township building, the speed dropped below the legal limit of 35 mph.
“You definitely see people paying attention and slowing down,” Butler Township Police Chief Charles Altmiller said.
Altmiller said he gets at least one complaint a day about speeding.
“It’s one of our major complaints,” he said.
So when state Rep. Todd Eachus, D-116, asked if he could help the police department, Altmiller suggested the signs that show motorists their speed.
Eachus provided a $10,000 grant, and the township chipped in $795 to purchase three of the portable signs.
“We need people to be aware of their speed. This creates awareness,” Eachus said. “Accidents happen every day as a result of speed and aggressive driving.”
Each sign is made by All Traffic Solutions of State College and called a Speed Sentry.
They run on batteries, attach to poles or other stanchions, and won’t open without a key.
Altmiller opened the back of one of the signs to show the radar unit, a small display screen, and a cord that downloads information for reports.
The signs can be set to flash and warn drivers when their speed exceeds posted limits.
“A lot of times you stop motorists and they’re in shock,” Altmiller said.
Now when he receives complaints about speeding, he will place a box in the neighborhood.
The record in the Speed Sentry will show how fast vehicles have traveled.
That will either reassure residents that drivers are obeying speed limits near their homes or alert Altmiller to roads where he will assign officers to patrol and write tickets.