LED signs and Koalas help lower speeds Down Under
One road in Australia has seen the average speed of drivers drop significantly over the past year as a combination of LED signs and Koala imagery has made road users more conscious of their speeds.
Before the LED signs were installed at blackspots in December of 2009, the average speed was as high as 60km/h, but almost immediately this tailed off to 55km/h, with the lower end of the scale seeing drivers passing by at 51km/h.
The overall average drop in speed of four km/h is seen as a real victory by the local council. The inclusion of a picture of one of the fluffy local Koala residents was enough to instil drivers with a little more restraint to avoid harming the wildlife and fellow road users through excessive speed.
The Koala population in the area had been in decline and a 2007 study found that virtually all of the local residents were in favour of erecting LED signs which would help to reduce the deaths of these cuddly creatures on the roads.
One of the significant features of the LED signs is that they can be moved around to tackle the areas in which the largest number of Koalas are losing their lives. With flashing displays they are able to get the attention of road users and they have acted as a significant supplement to the existing fixed road signs warning of Koala movements.
A local campaigner explained that the LED signs were not only warning drivers about Koalas and their speed, but also recording information which would allow the council and police to build a picture of the types of vehicles that are using the road on a regular basis, resulting in the availability of more appropriate resources in the future.