TRAFFIC SAFETY: Oregon DOT testing variable speed signs on I-84

The project is a first for the state

October 13, 2016
Oregon DOT testing variable speed signs on I-84

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has begun testing new variable speed signs to provide a greater margin of safety during winter weather on I-84.

Over the past several weeks, crews from ODOT have been installing variable speed signs along a 30-mile section of I-84 from Ladd Canyon to Baker City. These electronic message boards indicate a safe speed limit for vehicles when weather conditions turn adverse. Computers collect data regarding temperature, skid resistance and average motorist speed to determine the most effective speed limit for this area and then present that speed on the variable speed signs, offering motorists additional information about their drive in order to increase highway safety. The signs will lower and raise speeds automatically to meet observed conditions on the roadway.

Currently, the new variable speed signs are in a test phase and are expect to go live on Nov. 1. At that time, they will indicate the speed limit which will be enforceable by state and local police.

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