Fed Up with Electronic Speed Limit Signs?

Somebody unscrewed a sign on Indian Valley Road and left it sitting next to the road. Could it be a fed-up neighbor?

Somebody got fed up enough with one of those flashing electronic speed limit signs that he — or several people — put it out of commission.

Who knows, maybe it was just a teen prank.

The Marin County Sheriff's Department got wind of a downed sign on Indian Valley Road near the corner of Bloom Lane on Friday morning, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Marcus Bartholomew. Another officer checked it out Sunday evening to find the sign by the side of the road with no evidence that there was a traffic collision, he added.

Bartholomew said it appeared the sign was just unscrewed and laid down, and it didn't appear that the sheriff's office took a vandalism report on it. If it is not damaged and thus not resulting in a monetary loss, there's a chance no vandalism report would be filed, he said.

The Indian Valley area is in an unincorporated part of Novato, giving the sheriff's office and CHP jurisdiction rather than the .

How do you feel about these signs? If you're a law-abiding driver, you never see them flashing at you as a reminder to slow down. If you're always in a hurry or simply impatient, you're being flashed several times a day by these signs.

Vote in our poll and leave a comment.

Abe January 30, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I'd rather have an electronic sign remind me of the speed limit than the county's finest in my mirror... It is interesting to see the difference between the sign and my speedometer - they don't match up.
Janna Barkin January 30, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Agreed, and they usually slow me down
Karen Dionne January 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Christine Scioli January 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Agreed, it's a great way to get your foot on the pedal less distracted!
Lou Judson January 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Agree with Abe! I wonder if there is more accuracy in my speedmeter or in the signs. When it says 25, mine say 28. If I obey my speedometer I'm below the limit... or the sign "de-xagerate" to coin a word.
Tony January 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
maybe the people driving 10-20 mph over the speed limit have a problem being reminded about going way to fast on a two lane rural road.
Lou Judson January 30, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I think they should be used as an adjunct to patrols and trigger an alarm for the nearest police, rather than a mechanical substitue for patrols!
Ella January 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I like the signs, particularly the one on Center near Lu Sutton school. The speeds definitely seem reduced in that area now, which makes our children safer. I know it's always a good reminder to me to slow down.
Kelly Ground January 30, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Too bad they don't put one on Atherton. Those folks (and all the contractors) speeding in and out at 50+ every morning and night might think otherwise.
Leda January 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I think they are so much more effective, because they grab the attention of the distracted driver who too often is also speeding. They should never be a substitute for patrols because then habitual speeders will just ignore the signs.
Jack January 30, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I favor the electronic speed signs when approaching school zones and in some residential areas where people tend to drive entirely too fast. I travel on San Marin Drive San Marin High School every school day and almost every day I see vehicles passing me well over the speed limit. I've also seen people run stop signs without stopping, including the crosswalk areas at the high school. In my opinion, the speed limit on San Marin Drive and Olive Avenue is entirely too high for the residential areas.
Jerome J Ghigliotti Jr January 30, 2012 at 05:50 PM
The speed signs on a pole seem to be accurate. Whereas, the speed sign on a trailer with two read-outs always has a 2 or 3 mph difference between the two read-outs. Also, I have parked with my engine off and watched the trailer spit out various numbers when there was not a vehicle nor pedestrian, horizon to horizon. Yes, they are an excellent reminder near schools.
Pat January 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The speed signs are great. Helpful but not offensive. Inexpensive for the city. Not in the same category as red light cameras!
DM January 30, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I agree, I wish we had them near Pleasant Valley.
Novato Resident January 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I noticed the one on IVR that someone unscrewed... made me laugh (surprised it took this long for someone to get irritated enough to lay it down) and thought they did a GOOD thing. That sign is a terrible eyesore and if I had to see it out one of my windows I would want it gone too. Did the county even notify neighbors before installing and give them a say??? I'd rather deal with a few speeders than an obnoxious lighted sign flickering any time a car goes by, 24/7. People pay a premium to live in beautiful, rural Indian Valley and that lighted sign does not belong in that environment... and gives the county an excuse to reduce patrols (which I've also noticed). I say remove the Indian Valley signs for good!!! Put them in a place where those who live nearby actually want them and they might do some good; near schools and on Atherton, as Kelly mentioned, is MUCH more appropriate use for them.
Danny Skarka January 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
My guess is someone was trying to steal the solar panel.
Robert B January 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Do these signs use laser or radar? Just wondering what is hitting us daily.
Novato Resident January 30, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Solar panel is still there... whoever laid it down was obviously careful not to damage it. I think it's probably more an act of conscientious aesthetics than vandalism.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) January 30, 2012 at 08:11 PM
If anybody out on Indian Valley Road can provide an update, that would be great. Did somebody come along and fix it?
c.richards January 31, 2012 at 06:52 AM
I could definately be wrong ,but I have the feeling the placement of the signs is determined by resident complaints of speeders in the area.
Tom Ryan January 31, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I live on IVR, and we need the signs to remind people to slow down. If residents don't like the sign where it is, they can put it in front of my house!
Megan Cooper March 14, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I'd say the vast majority of people trigger the signs to flash - most of the time they're going less than five miles over the speed limit. If police responded to every time the speed limit signs were tripped, we'd be wasting their time and taxpayer money.


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