Slow down for ‘Smiling Sam’

Speed detecting signs on Brisbane’s streets have slowed down two out of five suburban drivers, but RACQ said more of those behind the wheel should be paying closer attention and reducing speeds.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said, in the past financial year, 98 million drivers passed one of Brisbane City Council’s (BCC) 106 ‘Slow for Sam’ signs, and data showed speeding drivers slowed down as a result, by up to eight kilometres per hour.

“Council is investing $2 billion towards 1,000 road improvement projects and is committed to getting residents home quicker and safer,” Cr Quirk said.

“Part of our commitment to safer suburban streets is the “slow for SAM” campaign which raises driver awareness to slow down speeding vehicles.”

The vehicle activated signs detected motorists’ speeds and would respond with a smiley face if they were under the speed limit, and a “slow down” message if they were detected speeding.

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RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said she was pleased to see many drivers were getting the message but urged those who weren’t, to slow down.

“While the signs detected and flashed at around 18 million speeding drivers, almost 11 million of those drivers kept speeding,” Dr Michael said.

“These drivers are putting themselves, other drivers and vulnerable roads users like cyclists and pedestrians at risk, all because they’re not paying attention and doing the speed limit.”

Dr Michael said the Club welcomed BCC’s announcement 30 more ‘Slow for SAM’ signs would be rolled out across the city.

“These sites are selected using speeding data, so we know they are being placed where they are needed most,” she said.

“Speeding is one of the Fatal Five, and it whether you’re driving too fast on a highway or quiet street – it can be deadly.

“Drivers must take responsibility behind wheel and reduce their speed if the ‘Slow for SAM’ detects they’re going too fast. The alternative could be a life lost on our suburban streets.”