Smile, you’re on radar |

Smile, you’re on radar

Device to help monitor local speeders

Christina M. Currie

It’s not a ranking officer or a video camera, but it will help the Craig Police Department monitor speeding vehicles.

It’s a speed trailer which will help keep patrol officers moving while slowing traffic electronically on Craig streets.

According to Police Chief Walt Vanatta, the main function of the trailer will be to make people aware of their speed.

“The biggest benefit is to make people aware of how fast they were going,” he said.

The Police Department doesn’t have the personnel to assign an officer to traffic duty full time, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t being watched.

The department spent approximately $6,500 on a display that shows the speed of oncoming traffic.

“It is much cheaper than hiring a full-time person to attempt to do speed enforcement,” Vanatta said.

The speed trailer made its first appearance Wednesday on Finley Lane and amazed area officers with its effectiveness.

“Once people saw it, almost every single car immediately put on their breaks,” Vanatta said. Even cars who were traveling at the speed limit or under it slowed when they saw the sign.

The speed trailer will be placed in various residential areas during the day to monitor speeding. The Police Department has a list of streets where speeding is a primary complaint and will place the trailer on those streets as needed.

“This device can be placed at different problem locations and effectively reduces speeding vehicles,” Vanatta said. “It’s better than having another officer there. We don’t have the people to just sit there.”

Tickets will not be issued from the trailer’s speed monitoring because it is not a photo radar device. It is an instrument that tells drivers their speed as a reminder to slow down. According to Vanatta, it’s not punitive in any way.

“People can always ignore it,” he said. “It’s not like an officer who can stop cars to enforce the laws.”

But that does not give people the license to speed. Officers will still patrol Craig streets and issue citations if necessary.

It can also be used to check speed to find out if a speedometer is accurate.

The trailer will be locked up a nighttime and has several anti-theft devices and alarms to prevent tampering during the day.