Brantley using radar, cameras to catch speeders

Published 1:44 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A startling number of speeding infractions has occurred over the past few months in the Town of Brantley. Because of this, the Brantley Police Department decided to get a few much-needed upgrades to ensure the safety of the citizens.

Through a company called REDFLEX, the Brantley Police Department was able to attain one new vehicle complete with radar and camera equipment through the “REDFLEXspeed” option, which will hopefully reduce the amount of speeders going through the town.

“The numbers are astronomical of people speeding through here,” said Phillip Moseley, administrator for the Town of Brantley. “Traffic has always been a problem here along Main Street. It’s a main beach route and we don’t have any shortage of vehicles traveling back and forth.”

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Brantley Chief of Police Titus Averett has high hopes for the success of this new vehicle and hopes that one day in the future, other technology can be brought to the town. After receiving multiple complaints from concerned citizens, Averett decided to look into radar and camera equipment.

“We were needing something to help us slow traffic down some kind of way,” said Averett. “With this device, hopefully it will slow them down, along with the signs we have put up stating that traffic is photo-controlled.”

Classes were offered to the officers once the vehicle with the equipment was delivered, and only certified officers will be authorized to check the video surveillance cameras if a violation occurs.

According to the REDFLEX website, these traffic systems partner with over 220 communities and operate over 2,000 traffic safety systems in the United States and Canada. REDFLEX works with communities to understand their traffic safety issues and then develops a program to address their specific issues.

After performing a traffic study back in April, the town found that within a 12 hour period, during the daytime on a Tuesday, 193 speeding incidents were recorded within the areas of a school zone. All vehicles recorded were going a minimum of 11 miles per hour over the speed limit. Forty-one of the vehicles were averaging a speed greater than 20 mph, 30 were averaging over 30 mph and 22 were averaging over 75 mph.

“It wasn’t a hard choice,” said Moseley. “It was about safety along Main Street.”

The system works by using two speed radar beams to measure the speed of the vehicle. Each beam measures and reads the speed of the vehicle individually; both readings must agree on a pre-determined speed. If the vehicle approaches a speed that is over the pre-determined limit, a photo is taken of the vehicle, which shows a close-up image of the license plate that can be reviewed and processed.

Both Averett and Moseley believe that the use of this new equipment will help keep citizens safe and will also cut down on the number of speeding vehicles making their way through town. Signs have been posted at every entrance to the town warning drivers of the technology the department will now be using.

“It will take a little while for people to realize it’s there, but we believe it will help slow everybody down,” said Moseley.