DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Fed up with speeding drivers and what he sees as inaction from city government, Peter Williams of Crocker Boulevard in Mount Clemens decided to take matters into his own hands.
And he got a little help from the North Pole.
Williams, owner of Paw Graphics, designed an eye-catching sign that tells drivers “Santa Says Slow Down” and popped it onto his front lawn.
“I’ve lived here 20 years, I realize it’s a busy street, I’ve gone to the city, there’s only so much they can do, it’s not for lack of trying (other ways to get drivers to slow down)” Williams said.
He said city officials have told him traffic studies show people are doing 30 or 35 miles per hour on average, but he believes the average is closer to 45 miles an hour. The speed limit is 30 mph.
Twice in his tenure, drivers have careened into each other, flipping their vehicles onto his front lawn.
“Once my neighbor’s Suburban was pushed into our front yard,” Williams said, adding, “Nobody will do anything until there’s a fatal … Wouldn’t you want to prevent it ahead of time?”
He’s gone to officials many times, and said he’s been told resources are limited. Financially beleaguered Mount Clemens disbanded its police force several years ago and now contracts for safety patrols with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department.
“We have traffic units out there, but we can’t be on that street 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said.
Williams said sheriff’s deputies say they patrol the street — but they really don’t.
“If they’re talking about revenue generating, just sit out there … I have not heard from the city, but they’ve told (other media) the sign is fine,” Williams said. “This just isn’t their top priority.”
He said drivers are taking notice of the sign.
“It’s a wide street, it’s a major thoroughfare, I’ll notice they’re looking, and doing a doubletake,” Williams said. “Some are giving two thumbs up.”
Reaction has been purely positive, he added.
“I’m starting to get a lot of people saying they want one of these signs in their neighborhood,” Williams said. “I’m actually considering doing this a couple of times a year … Maybe at Easter.”