Optical speed bars. (US Department of Transportation photo)

New highway markings in North Okanagan expected to slow speeders

Optical speed bars being tested on Highway 97A on south side of Enderby

Highway 97A just south of Enderby is sporting some extra stripes these days.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure explains that the reason for the rectangular white marks on the northbound lane just before the Esso station is to slow traffic.

“The markings south of Enderby on Highway 97A are called Optical Speed Bars and are used for reducing vehicle speeds,” states the ministry in an email. A U.S. transportation department report explains the markings are placed with progressively reduced spacing. The pattern gives drivers the impression their speed is increasing.

The ministry goes on to say they are used in a few other places in the Southern Interior including Highway 97 at Monte Lake and on Highway 5A between Merritt and Kamloops.

“The ministry is monitoring these locations and depending on how they perform, we will consider utilizing them in additional areas.”

It adds there are no plans to use optical speed bars in Salmon Arm at this time.

Read more: ICBC to increase optional premiums for drivers caught speeding, distracted driving

Read more: Drivers stopped for speeding, racing a train, driving while impaired


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