Police Interested in Electronic Speed Signs Near Schools
Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom plans to ask local schools to fund the signs in an effort to reduce speeding in school zones.
Chief Brad Bloom of the Hinsdale Police Department is exploring the idea of placing electronic speed-display signs in school zones around the village in an effort to reduce speeding and provide data to police on when speeding in these zones occurs most.
Bloom said at the Village of Hinsdale Zoning and Public Safety (ZPS) Committee meeting on April 23 that each solar-powered sign would cost $4,783 to purchase and install. The chief said he wanted to approach local parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) to see if they’d be interested in paying for the signs and their installation with the understanding that the village would maintain them going forward.
The ZPS Committee gave Bloom the go-ahead to approach the PTOs of both public and private schools in Hinsdale.
Alerting people of their speed is a good tool to slowing them down, Bloom said. In addition to that, the signs record the speed and time data, allowing the department to set patrol and monitoring schedules so that officers are present at peak speeding times.
“It’s not only a warning sign to educate the drivers, but it’s also collecting data that we can use for speed enforcement, if necessary,” Bloom said.
The chief said the signs would also help by catching the attention of drivers not familiar with the Hinsdale area and alerting them that they’re in a school zone when it might not be explicitly clear.
Bloom said speeding near schools has been a consistent source of complaints heard by the police department.
“Anything we can do to alert people of their speed … is a good tool to slow people down,” Bloom said.
Village trustee and ZPS chair Bob Saigh said Bloom’s argument was persuasive.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good idea,” Saigh said. “I’d like to see what the response is.”
Saigh asked if the stretch of 55th Street in front of Hinsdale Central High School would be considered, and Bloom said it likely would not because the electronic signs are most effective on two-lane roads where cars and their speeds can be easily matched.