It does essentially the same job as your vehicle's speedometer—except with flashing lights along the side of the road.
Baltimore County police stationed a speed display device along Seven Courts Drive, between Pinedale Drive and Proctor Lane, in Perry Hall on March 2. The device shows a driver's actual speed next to a sign showing the street's 30 mph speed limit. It is intended to help calm traffic, according to police spokeswoman Detective Cathy Batton.
Capt. Gordon Skinner of the Parkville police precinct said its placement is in direct response to traffic concerns from local residents, shared in the comments of Patch articles and during community meetings.
These concerns reached a boiling point following the hit-and-run incident that killed 68-year-old Beverly Moore on Jan. 22. The investigation into the hit-and-run is ongoing; no arrests have been made, according to police. While speeding was not directly related to the incident, it raised awareness about reckless driving on the busy roadway.
Until March 9, the speed display device will face northbound traffic. For another week afterward, it will face southbound traffic, Batton said. Police will then evaluate its placement and possibly move it out of the area.
The device does not record any information about traffic or speed—it simply displays how fast someone is traveling, she said.
Barbara Sleeman, who lives along Seven Courts Drive, within view of the device, said speeding and reckless driving are ongoing issues in her neighborhood.
"The problem is that people use this to bypass Belair Road. ... It says 30 along here, but you even see school buses speeding by. People go 50," Sleeman said.
The device does appear to slow traffic and helps protect vehicles parked along sidewalks, she added, but stationing a police officer along Seven Courts Drive, at least one day a week, would be more effective.
"I've called them several times and suggested they come out here. I say, 'Come and make some money,'" Sleeman said.
Which streets and neighborhoods in Perry Hall have the most serious speeding problems? Tell us in the comments.