Speed-alert signs near Los Banos schools warn drivers

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 15, 2013 

— LOS BANOS — New signs near some schools in town are designed to remind motorists to slow down.

The city Public Works Department set up 14 solar radar signs on busy thoroughfares near a handful of schools this week.

"Hopefully, this is going to slow people down," said Assistant Public Works Director Gary Hutsell.

The project, paid for through a federal Safe Routes to School grant, cost $100,945. The signs, which show the speed of passing cars, are on B Street, Place Road and San Luis Street next to Los Banos Junior High School; B Street near R.M. Miano Elementary School; Overland Avenue near Lorena Falasco Elementary School; L Street near Henry Miller Elementary School; and Center Avenue near Our Lady of Fatima School.

Police Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said the signs are a good reminder.

"We investigate a lot of accidents and some of them are near the schools when people are driving too fast," Reyna said. "A lot of drivers are thinking of what's going on in their regular lives instead of how fast they are going. This signs are placed as a reminder."

The city contracted with Atwater-based Viking General Contractors Inc. to produce the signs. Viking Construction in Merced installed them.

The grant money originally was slated to go toward a lighted crosswalk at Seventh and K streets. However, state standards do not allow lighted crosswalks at controlled intersections.

Hutsell said the signs do not include cameras or other surveillance equipment designed to catch speeders. He said he believes the signs give motorists the opportunity to police themselves.

The signs are worthwhile, Reyna said.

"If they can prevent just one accident from happening, then it's worth it," he said.

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