The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

June 6, 2014

Speed trailer set up to keep drivers within limits

CLINTON — Speed limit signs are strategically placed along streets to warn drivers to obey traffic laws and keep them safe while on the roadways but those signs are only effective if drivers are mindful of them.

In taking those warning signs one step further, the Clinton Police Department appoints the use of a unique tool in the warmer months of the year to help aid motorists as they travel along municipal streets.

"Largely it's based on either complaints that we get from surrounding neighbors about people speeding," Clinton Police Chief Brian Guy. "We're just trying to educate people so that they are cognizant of their speed and their surroundings."

The Clinton Police Department speed radar trailer is similar to a traditional radar gun that configures the speed of a vehicle, but instead of a law-enforcement officer taking the reading, it is displayed on a 2-foot-tall, LED screen directly to the drivers themselves. If the person driving exceeds the posted speed limit by more than 5 to 10 miles per hour, flashing blue and red lights will supply an additional reminder to that driver to slow down.

Guy explains that while the trailers are not capable of issuing a punishment to people who are caught speeding, it is a way for them to see, on a larger scale, that they are breaking the law.

"Clinton has no photo speed enforcement," he said. "We're not trying to trap anybody — this is just our tool for education."

Not only do the speed trailers assist in educating drivers but they also help with detailed traffic studies used by other city departments.

Currently, the speed trailer sits along Fourth Street in Clinton but later this week will be moved to Lincoln Way near the newly installed traffic light on Harrison Drive on the city's Engineering Department request. Clinton Police Capt. Bill Greenwalt said that by moving the trailer to that area they can get a better grasp on the traffic trends that are happening near the newly installed light.

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