Retro Charlotte

Patrolman Kelly’s Invention

Patrolman Kelly and portable warning sign, 1966.
Patrolman Kelly and portable warning sign, 1966. The Charlotte Observer

1966: a Charlotte police officer has an idea to improve traffic (and make his life a little easier, too).

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Police Will Try Out Patrolman’s Invention

By John York, Observer Staff Writer

A city policeman has invented a new device police will try on an experimental basis in the near future.

Traffic patrolman J.R. Kelly has designed a portable sign to be carried in police cars for use at spots where traffic emergencies occur.

The sign is about six feet tall when the sections are put together. It has interchangeable faces which include “Traffic Keep Right,” “Street Closed,” “Detour,” “Auto Accident,” “Fire,” and others.

Kelly believes that the sign can help notify motorists that there is trouble ahead, give them a chance to avoid the congestion and at the same time answer questions drivers normally try to ask police at the scene of an emergency.

The signs and stands can be made in the city’s signal shop at little expense, he added.

Lt. George Livingston said the sign will be given a trial before others are ordered.