Speed radar signs distribute tickets

Darien Malekos, Staff Writer

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Speed radar signs are now being used to ticket speeders.

Most, if not all, drivers have driven passed posted radar signs which tell a driver his or her speed as they pass. The foremost purpose of these signs is to let speeders know they need to slow down.

However, what many drivers do not know is that these signs can actually lead to tickets. San Mateo County has recently implemented speed radar signs that take pictures of the license plates of extreme speeders.

Traffic school teacher Rocky Cologne warned his students about these signs during one of his classes in early May. He said, “When the amber lights of the sign turn red it means the sign has taken a picture of your license plate.”

The pictures are then sent to local police departments for review and a ticket could be sent in the mail to the speeder.

Although these signs are fairly new, local authorities have not been extremely telling about them. The exact location of these signs is unknown and only roughly two percent of randomly selected Carlmont juniors and seniors knew that these signs can ultimately distribute tickets.

Senior Gabriella Pons said, “I knew. I thought they were the same as the signs with the flashing red and blue lights on top.”

Pons is referring to the speed radar signs that caution speeders to slow down by flashing red and blue lights, mimicking those used by police to pull over drivers. One of these signs is located on San Carlos Ave. in front of Arundel Elementary.

Senior Michael Scallan said, “The sign with the police lights is scary because you think that a police car is actually behind you and you’re about to get pulled over. I always slow down when I see those lights in my rear view mirror.”

While it may scare drivers more, the speed radar sign on San Carlos Ave. has not been reported to distribute tickets as the new radar signs do.

Some drivers tend to not take the speed radar signs seriously, seeing them as merely an inaccurate recording of their speed. This view may change as more speeders throughout San Mateo County receive tickets from these new radar signs.

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