02/07/06 — Equipment will help nab speeders

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Equipment will help nab speeders

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 7, 2006 1:49 PM

Speeders beware.

At their first meeting of the month, Goldsboro City Council voted to cover 25 percent of the cost for new police equipment for the purpose of reducing speeding complaints and speed-related accidents.

Police Chief Tim Bell said each year, the N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program allocates funds for local governments. This year, that funding will go toward the purchase of new radars, vehicles and other equipment.

Council voted unanimously to pay up to $19,137, should Goldsboro be awarded money from the program. The expected pay-out of $76,550, will cover costs associated with the purchase of six items.

"In 2005, 3,443 persons were charged with speeding in Goldsboro," Bell said.

He added there are many ways to bring that number down. New equipment is one of them.

Among the anticipated purchases, police hope to bring two new vehicles to Goldsboro -- a Ford Explorer and Crown Victoria. These vehicles, Bell said, will be fully equipped with emergency equipment.

"These vehicles will be dedicated to our speed reduction initiative," he said.

Other purchases will include two dual-antenna radars, a speed-monitoring trailer and a crash data retrieval system or black-box reader.

The new radars will enable officers to catch speeders from all directions, he said. So, if someone traveling behind an officer is exceeding the speed limit, the driver's rate of speed can be captured by the radar.

"You speeders out there better watch out," Mayor Al King said.

The speed-monitoring trailer alerts drivers as they pass, showing them how fast they are going. Bell added these units can also be used to generate helpful data for the city -- what areas are problematic with regard to speeding.

The black-box reader can be helpful in the aftermath of car accidents, telling investigators a great deal about the circumstances of a particular crash. Its capabilities include ability to determine whether or not drivers were buckled in, whether brakes were used, how fast the vehicles were traveling at impact and where particular passengers were seated based on their body weight.

"Now that's a smart device," King said.

Councilmen said they hope Goldsboro receives the funds and that this new equipment will reduce the number of speeders in the city, making for a safer community.