New York Introduces Skeletons to Make You Slow Down

April 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

One half of the pair of skeleton speed boards littering New York with warnings. Image via the NYDOT.

April 6, 2012 — New York State is introducing, for your driving pleasure, the skeleton-emblazoned digital billboard. For the first time this summer, two lucky New York city streets saw the installation of what the Department of Transportation is calling “skeleton speed boards.”

This is not the first time that the DOT has employed unorthodox measures to keep city streets safer. Last winter, we reported on street signs that use poetry to keep pedestrians aware of the dangers of distraction. Now, the DOT designs speed signs to shock.

The image of a skeleton, or a similar skull and crossbones, is usually paired with poison or death. Speeding, says this new initiative, is at least as dangerous as ingesting poison. Said Commissioner Sadik-Khan, “Speeding is a menace that endangers everyone on our streets, and it is particularly deadly for pedestrians. These speeds boards deliver the equally chilling message that speeding kills and slowing down can save lives.”

Part of the “That’s Why It’s 30” series from the DOT

Here’s how they work: the default image displayed will be of a pedestrian walking, next to a legend that reads “SPEED LIMIT 30.” And yes, the speed limit for New York City, including the boroughs, is 30. When attached radar scanners identify a speeding car, the LED image on the sign changes to a skeleton, next to the words “SLOW DOWN.”

What you’ll see if you speed. Image via the NYDOT.

What do you think? Are the skeletons too much? Are they distracting for drivers, or do they make roads safer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

– R. Fogel

Category: News, Regulations