AUSTIN (KXAN) — Crashes involving speedy drivers severely hurt or killed more than 620 people in Austin last year. In some cases, Austin Transportation Department safety officer Lewis Leff said drivers were going 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

He said one of those areas included Slaughter Lane where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. However, a recent speed report found hundreds of drivers were going 60 miles per hour. That’s not even the fastest speed reported.

“We’ve unfortunately seen some really egregious behavior,” Leff said. “I think people exceeded the speed limit by 35, 45 miles an hour.”

Leff added they tend to see those speeds during the overnight hours – when the roads are usually less crowded.

“Anybody who chooses to go that fast is putting everyone else at risk on the roadways,” he said.

That’s why the city’s transportation department has installed 14 Dynamic Speed Display Devices. The devices show drivers their speed in real-time and record it.

One of the 14 Dynamic Speed Display Devices put up across the city by the Austin Transportation Department. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)
One of the 14 Dynamic Speed Display Devices put up across the city by the Austin Transportation Department. (KXAN Photo/Candy Rodriguez)

They’ve placed these devices at seven locations across the city that have a history of severe crashes. Including East Riverside, South Congress, North Lamar Boulevard, Cesar Chavez Street and Parmer Lane.

City officials are hoping these speed display devices will encourage drivers to slow down by making them aware of just how fast they’re going.

“We’re hopeful that these are going to be impactful,” Leff said.

Studies show a device like the Dynamic Speed Display will get drivers to slow down at first, but the impact only lasts for a bit before the effect wears off. The displays will be studied between six months to a year and then the city will review the data. If the data shows drivers are continuously speeding transportation leaders will determine what speed mitigation steps to take and that could include enforcement.