Morenci city council 2011.06.29

Written by David Green.

Remember the mobile speed sign that appeared in Morenci last spring, the one that instantly displayed your speed of travel?

Drivers will soon see a lot more of the sign following a city council decision Monday. Council approved the purchase of a Speed Sentry Shield sign at a cost of $5,500.

About half the cost comes from funds the city receives through drunk driving arrests. A portion of the fines assessed are returned to the community where the arrest was made. Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks said those funds are typically used for traffic safety efforts.

He sees the value of sign going beyond an increase in awareness of speed limits.

“It does a lot more for us than that,” he said.

For example, whenever a change in local traffic regulations are made, a traffic study is required. When the turn lane was added at the downtown stoplight, Weeks had to assign an officer at the location to record traffic counts for a specified period, but the Speed Sentry also handles traffic counts.

If residents request a change in speed limit on a street, the Speed Sentry would be used for the required survey before a decision could be made.

Weeks was surprised by the positive reception the sign received last spring when he borrowed a unit to try out. Several residents told him how much they appreciated the presence of the sign to help raise awareness of local speed laws.

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