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New speed radar sign in school zone near Reno's Anderson Elementary

An arching poll on the side of a road on a cloudless morning. On the horizontal part of the pole, are two lights, one flashing yellow and a sign that reads, “School 15 When Flashing”. On the vertical part of the pole, there are two signs. One reads, “School Speed Limit 15 When Flashing” and a digital sign reads, “Your Speed” and the digit number is 29.
Lucia Starbuck
/
KUNR Public Radio
Speed feedback sign on Lakeside Drive in Reno, Nev., during a school zone on the morning of April 10, 2023. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour when the school zone isn’t active.

There’s a new speed radar sign in Reno aimed at increasing public safety.

The digital sign tells drivers how fast they’re going. It doesn’t take pictures or issue tickets. It’s located on Lakeside Drive near Anderson Elementary School. Washoe County School District (WCSD) Board President Beth Smith said it’s a community responsibility to keep school zones safe.

“It’s so important, particularly in neighborhoods where almost the entire school group that [is] going to school at Anderson Elementary are walkers,” Smith said.

The elementary school’s zone is approximately a half square mile, so nearly all students walk to school except a handful that is driven due to variances or by choice, according to WCSD. The Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) provided $3,000 dollars in discretionary funds to the City of Reno to install the feedback sign.

“This sign will serve as a visual reminder for motorists to slow down and look out for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Kurt M. Dietrich, City of Reno Traffic Engineer.

In 2020, speeding was a factor in nearly 30 percent of traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washoe County Commissioner and RTC board member Alexis Hill said speeding is preventable.

“The psychology behind seeing the sign and then also seeing the person behind you that sees the sign, I think that there is a little bit of peer pressure happening there,” Hill said.

Display signs can reduce speeds by an average of nine miles per hour at school zones, according to the Transportation Research Board. Reno also recently installed experimental reduced speed limit signs for nighttime on Veterans Parkway in South Reno in an effort to reduce vehicle and horse collisions.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.
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