Slow down or you're a murderer: that's the Department of Transportation's message to motorists, one made all the more clear by new speed-detecting signs (above) that the agency is deploying. In an announcement yesterday the DOT revealed that the two first "Skeleton" speed boards will be placed on the southbound side of Fourth Avenue between 38th and 39th streets in Sunset Park and on the westbound side of Horace Harding Expressway and Xenia Street in Elmhurst, Queens.
The signs are very simple: as long as passing motorists respect the speed limit, the sign displays a silhouette of a relatively healthy-looking pedestrian and the speed limit. But go over 30 as you approach one of these boards and the silhouette turns into a skeleton and big bold-fonted letters tell you to "SLOW DOWN." The DOT chose those two locations because in both, more than half the vehicles surveyed were going over the speed limit. Presumably more "Skeleton" boards will arrive on similarly dangerous streets soon because, as the DOT press release reminds us:
If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 m.p.h. or faster, there’s a 70% chance that the pedestrian will be killed; at 30 m.p.h., there’s an 80% chance that the pedestrian will live.