Speed study confuses Rocky Point school zone rules

The in basket: Corinne White is mystified by speed controls in the school zone on Rocky Point Road and Marine Drive in front of Crownhill Elementary School in Bremerton.

Flashing yellow lights to indicate when the 20 mile per hour speed limit was in effect were deployed there early this year. But now a lighted radar trailer the tells a driver how fast he or she is going has been stationed just after the sign for traffic coming off of Rocky Point. It has a painted School Zone 20 mph sign mounted on it.

The speed reading flashes in blue on and off for a vehicle traveling over 20, until about 25 above which it instead flashes “Slow Down” in bright red.

She hasn’t seen the yellow flashers working when she passes them and wonders if they are inactive.

“According to the non-blinking light, that would make the speed limit 25 so I shouldn’t have to slow down. I was happy when I saw the blinking light towers go in, as I thought the (previous) signs telling you to go 20 for almost the entire day seemed asinine, but they never removed the one you see when you are headed north, and the blinking lights don’t seem to be active.

“I don’t understand what they are trying to accomplish there. Should we be going 20 most of the time as the sign and radar trailer indicate? Or can we do 25 unless the yellow blinking lights are active?

“Help? I can’t be the only resident of the area that is baffled by this.”

She also thinks the unlighted time-specific school zone sign back by the Methodist church on Marine Drive conflicts with information on the flashing yellow signs.

The out basket: Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police says the trailer is conducting a speed study to see if the flashing yellow lights have made a difference. The flashing yellow lights do still work when children are afoot in the area, and the speed limits are as before, regardless of the trailer.

The lights flash from 8:30 to 9:00 in the morning and from 3:30 to 4:00 in the afternoon. except Wednesday afternoon  when they flash from 1:30 – 2:00 because of early dismissal, Patty Glaser of the school district says.

The trailer records the speed of each vehicle that passes it, Pete Fisher said, along with the day and time. It records nothing about the vehicle, including license number, and isn’t used to enforce the speed limit.

It flashes the red “Slow Down” sign above 24 mph because some drivers regard the display as a challenge to see how fast they can go, so high speeds aren’t shown.

Pete said the trailer is used all over the city, often after citizen complaints about speeders, to determine the best time to assign an officer to patrol there.

He said he referred Corinne’s message about the possible conflict of the time-certain and flashing light signs to the city engineers’ office for review.




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