Speedy drivers in Inuvik get gentle reminder to slow down

The town of Inuvik has bought an electronic sign that displays the speed of oncoming vehicles in hopes of slowing traffic and even saving lives.
Pedestrians are among those who hope the new electronic sign will slow down speeders. (David Thurton)

The town of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, is hoping a new electronic sign will encourage drivers in the community to slow down and maybe save lives.

The electronic signs that display a vehicle's speed as it passes are used in many communities across Canada. The display starts flashing when the oncoming vehicle exceeds the posted limit.

On most Inuvik streets that's 35 kilometers per hour.

Inuvik bylaw constable Sean Cairns shows off the electronic sign that's getting a lot of attention. (David Thurton)

Inuvik bylaw constable Sean Cairns says the $5,000 sign is popular with many residents.

"Almost every day that we have been setting up we had people stop and say that they love the sign and they think it's a great idea. We've had a few people call us and ask that we put it on the street because they have particular concerns around their homes," Cairns says.

"If anyone contacts us we are more than happy to put it out there for a day or two." 

Cairns says it's important for drivers to obey the limit. A young woman died in July after the truck she was in flipped over and landed on its roof.

The RCMP said excessive speed was a factor.

The sign is also good news to pedestrians. They often have to walk on the road in Inuvik. Frances Esau hopes it means a safer walk for her into town.