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New device will collect data on speeders
Franklin Township is researching the purchase of a new device, which will monitor the traffic flow and speed of motorists on township roads.
Numerous residents voiced concern about speeding cars, which sparked discussion with the police department as to what methods might be better used in collecting traffic data and slowing down motorists.
According to Police Chief Jim Timko, the speed trailers commonly used, that display motorists speed upon approaching, can cost up to $12,000.
However, Timko found an alternative non-descript unit, which is the size of a toolbox and could be fitted to a pole, vehicle, or tree.
Timko said they could purchase the $4,995 unit through traffic fines collected by the township since the beginning of the year – a sum of around $16,000.
“So it wouldn’t actually cost township tax money,” Timko said. “It’s fine money from the courts that’s returned to us.”
Unlike the trailer components, motorists would not be aware of the device’s presence, and there would be a much lower threat of vandalism – which Timko said happens with the speed trailers.
“The traffic does not know this machine is tracking them,” Timko said.
According to Trustee Chairman Timothy Guyton, the unit would not directly be used in ticketing. Instead, the device would only guide the police department’s attention to where problems exist.
The device has the ability to read the speed of cars and record the traffic flow at certain times. It can also determine the dimensions of each vehicle – whether it’s a compact car, larger SUV, or truck.
Timko said the unit will allow his department to better dispatch patrolmen to particular streets at times when the data shows the most speeding offenses.
“I think it maximizes our staffing,” Guyton said.
The trustees voiced support of following through with this idea, but township officials will continue to research the subject, in order to be fully aware of their options before finalizing any purchase.
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