Signs that will change the speed limit on a Broward road contingent on the schedule of West Broward High School in Pembroke Pines are set to begin reducing speeds Friday.
Variable speed limit signs will bring the speed limit on Okeechobee Road (U.S. 27) between Pembroke and Griffin roads down to 45 miles-per-hour at different times throughout the day. Events such as the early morning rush, football games, or PTA meetings will dictate the speed limit.
The new system, "will provide the flexibility to control speeds as needed, both on school days and at other times when school is not in session," said Danielle Chapel of the Florida Department of Transportation. "The result will be better traffic flow instead of having the same speed limits for all conditions."
Along the stretch of Okeechobee Road near West Broward High School, the speed limit varies from 65 to 60 miles-per-hour. A large number of commuters and trucks use the road, which may create unsafe conditions for the students.
Because most South Florida schools are in residential areas, where the speed limit is lower than 60 miles-per-house, variable speed limit signs are unlikely to spread, Chapel said.
Weather or other factors will not reduce the speed limit. It will be based strictly on the school’s events, she said.
The signs will gradually reduce the speed limit as students arrive to school before 7:30 a.m. They will transition from 65 mph to 55 mph and then to 45 mph just before the flashing lights are on.
Standard speed limits won’t be lowered during nights and weekends in which school events aren’t taking place.
The variable speed limit signs have been up for a few years, but kept flashing at 45 miles-per-hour, because of a resurfacing project.