Traffic & Safety

Traffic & Safety FAQs

Can I get a Deer Crossing sign installed on my road?

Because deer crossing signs have shown to be of little or no value in reducing motor vehicle/deer crashes and the scattered nature of the problem, we do not inventory or install these signs nor do we allow the installation of these signs within the public right-of-way by others.

Can I place Handicap, Deaf, Blind, Special Needs Child, or Pedestrian Area warning signs on my street?

The use of Handicap, Deaf, Blind, Special Needs Child, or Pedestrian Area warning signs is limited to situations and locations meeting approval of the Ottawa County Road Commission.

Requests for such signs shall be made in writing and include a physician’s certification/letter indicating extent of handicap. The requesting party will also need to advise the Road Commission on an annual basis as to the continued need of these warning signs.

The number and location of these warning signs will be determined by the Road Commission and generally will be limited to the roadway serving the handicap person’s residence.

The installation cost will be the responsibility of the requesting resident and all costs to maintain sign(s) will be paid by the Road Commission.

Can a Children at Play sign be placed on my street?

At first consideration, it might seem that a Children at Play sign would provide some safety for youngsters playing in a neighborhood. Unfortunately, this type of sign encourages parents to believe that children have an added degree of protection; which the signs do not and cannot provide.

Studies have shown that this type of sign provides no evidence of reducing pedestrian crashes or vehicles speeds. Obviously, children should not be encouraged to play in the roadway. The Children at Play sign is a direct and open suggestion that it is acceptable to do so.

Federal standards discourage the use of this sign and they are not even recognized in Michigan’s traffic sign manuals. As an alternative, the Road Commission strives to remove vision obstructions to provide a safe roadway for both pedestrians and motorists.

Can a speed bump be placed on my street?

A speed bump is a bump of asphalt about a foot wide, 3 to 4 inches high, and placed laterally across the traveled portion of the road. However, the speed bump poses as an increased hazard to motorists, the cause of an undesirable increase in noise, and a real problem for snow removal.

The purpose of a speed bump is to make the ride over it uncomfortable for the driver, encouraging him/her to reduce their speed. With the various vehicle suspensions and wheel bases, the speed bump has shown an inability to successfully control speeds.

Speed bumps can cause maintenance problems to any vehicle and increase response time for emergency services. Because speed bumps have considerable potential for liability suits, Michigan has officially rejected them as a standard traffic control device on public streets.

The control of speeding in neighborhoods is a widespread concern which requires compliance by residents, patience and persistent effort by law enforcement – not speed bumps.

Will a stop sign slow down traffic on my street?

Stop signs installed at the wrong place for the wrong purpose usually create more problems than they solve. One common misuse of stop signs is to arbitrarily interrupt traffic, either by causing it to stop or by causing such an inconvenience that motorists are forced to use other routes.

Traffic studies indicate that there is a high incidence of intentional violations where stop signs are installed as “nuisances” or “speed breakers.” The studies also show that drivers increase their speeds between unwarranted stop signs to make up for the lost time. Based on these studies and the increased speeds of drivers on streets with unwarranted stop signs, the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD) clearly states that “Stop signs shall not be used for speed control.”

A stop sign placed at the right place and under the right conditions, tells drivers and pedestrians who has the right of way.