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Couple on curving county road pays for traffic software after losing 6 mailboxes to speeding vehicles
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Rick Schumann points out a sign that displays a vehicle's speed as it approaches a curve along Williams Road in front of his home in Flowery Branch on Monday. The Schumanns have lost six mailboxes to motorists who speed into the curve along Williams Road in front of their home. After the Hall County Sheriff's Office installed a sign showing drivers their speed as they approached the curve, the Schumanns paid for software that collects and analyzes traffic data. - photo by David Barnes

Rick and Mary Schumann have lost six mailboxes — five of them brick — living on a curve of Williams Road in Flowery Branch.

“They’re coming so fast around the curve they can’t stay in their own lane. They go in the oncoming lane and then over into our yard at a high rate of speed,” Rick Schumann said.

Williams Road is a 30-mph zone, and the limit is 20 mph around the curve.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office placed a radar speed sign out in the area, where people started to slow down. 

The digital sign attaches to an existing speed limit sign and is small enough to fit in the spare tire compartment of a deputy’s car.

The system, however, didn’t capture data on speeding drivers without additional software. So the couple donated funds to purchase the software.

“This is something that we could help the county with, the sheriff’s department with, because we can’t complain if we’re not stepping up and doing something ourselves,” Rick Schumann said.

The product was less than $300, but the Schumanns said the data is worth thousands.

“We were willing to pay five times that, because at that point we knew this was the right thing to do,” Rick Schumann said when making the donation.

The sheriff’s office is set to receive six more radar speed signs in the coming days, though these do not have the data-tracking software.

Traffic unit Sgt. Todd Casper said Radarsign donated the first sign earlier this year. The antiquated speed trailer sitting in the sheriff’s office parking lot will work for a day before losing power, while the new sign’s battery can last four months.

 “We have a lot of people who really appreciate it, especially in the subdivisions and residential areas,” Casper said.

Casper can set the sign to alert the driver about speeding and flash if a driver reaches a certain amount above the limit.

On Friendship Farm Drive, the data collected by the donated software showed drivers going an average of 24.7 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone, showing Casper that people are obeying the law.

The sign has been placed on Williams Road, Poplar Springs Road and Montgomery Drive. Data was not immediately available for these areas.

“I try to put it up in every area where we’ve had a problem or complaints,” Casper said.

The Schumanns said they have appreciated having the sign in the community, though it cannot stop every person from speeding down their stretch of road.

“We love the fact that there’s been a marked slowdown in the traffic when the sign is up, but this curve is so dangerous, and the speeding drivers just cannot maintain control as they come around that corner,” Rick Schumann said.

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Rick Schumann stands Monday next to a sign indicating a curve in the road ahead that was run over Sunday night in Flowery Branch. The Schumanns have lost six mailboxes to motorists who speed into the curve along Williams Road in front of their home. After the Hall County Sheriff's Office installed a sign showing drivers their speed as they approached the curve, the Schumanns paid for software that collects and analyzes traffic data. - photo by David Barnes
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