In an effort to deter drivers from speeding along Hempstead Avenue in West Hempstead near the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County's elementary school, two electronic signs were recently installed in the area.
The electronic signs, which detect and display the speed of passing vehicles, where installed at both ends of school zone, facing the northbound and southbound traffic. Drivers will now see just how fast they are traveling on this secion of Hempstead Avenue and how it compares to the posted speed limit, which is 20 m.p.h. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on school days.
"[Drivers] are coming off a curve," Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray told Patch during a visit to the area Thursday. "We just want to remind people gently that not only is this a small road, but it's a road that has Young Israel, a house of worhship, and ofcourse, the school children, who are of paramount importance to us."
Murray said the decision to add the electronic signs was made after HANC officials, faculty and parents wrote letters and made phone calls to her office and to other elected officials.
"They let us know what their observations and experiences were," Murray said, calling the community's efforts "a classic grassroots" one.
She explained that statistical evidence has shown that these interactive signs are more effective at curtailing speeding that traditional signage. "It seems to really grab peoples' attention," she said. "When you see a sign that's changing numbers people really become aware of it."
The Town of Hempstead has already installed these types of signs in other school zones and have noticed that they have had a positive impact. "It's certainly our hope that these electronic signs are very effective here," she added.
Murray visited HANC's Samuel and Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School in West Hempstead last Thursday along with Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino, NYS Assemblyman Ed Ra and Nassau County Legis. Vincent Muscarella. The local officials spoke with HANC Executive Director Robert Shelly, Associate Principal Barbara Deutsch, faculty and students, and posed for a photo next to one of the new signs.
"We're hoping this does the job," Murray said of the new signs. "We'll continue to monitor the situation and if there's anything else we can do, we'll take that step as well."