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Sensors Track Speeders in Cary

Posted July 5, 2007

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— The Cary Police Department is trying a new method to put the brakes on speeders – a method that doesn't even require police to be present.

For the past eight months, Cary police have placed speed sensors in neighborhoods where drivers have a history of putting the pedal to the metal. The units have a radar gun and a display that tells drivers how fast they're traveling.

Residents along Southwest Maynard Road and West Johnson Street say they are glad to have seen the sensors out there this week.

"It depends on what time of the day it is. Usually, there's a lot of traffic," said Shannon Douglas of Southwest Maynard.

"I think it does slow people down a little bit. Once you see it, you do slow down," said Erica Douglas, also of Southwest Maynard Road resident.

"It's kind of like a warning. It lets you know you're speeding. You can use common knowledge to slow down," said Robert Sweet, a neighbor on West Johnson Street.

Police choose the locations to put their two sensors based on complaints about speeding in areas. The sensors stay at each location about a week.

"We were looking for another method to proactively get people to cooperate and lower their speeds in neighborhoods," said Lt. Mark Parker, head of Cary's traffic unit.

The results from the sensor program have been positive so far, said police. The Cary Town Council recently approved the purchase of two more sensors, which cost $3,800 each.

The sensors also allow police to track when the most congestion and the most speeding occur along a road. If speeding presents a severe enough problem for a given area, police said they may send extra patrols to write tickets.

According to preliminary numbers, only 19 cars of 1,200 recorded by the West Johnson Street sensor in the past three days have gone more than 5 mph over the speed limit. That makes extra patrols in the area unlikely, said police.

Southwest Maynard, however, could see more enforcement, police said.

"Most drivers very much think about anyone that would step out in front of them or dangerous things that occur while they're driving. This helps to remind them to keep their speed lower," said Parker.

51 Comments

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  • richard2 Jul 7, 2007

    Get ready. Next step, speeding tickets will be mailed to you with no points acesssed. Just like stop light tickets. Its coming. Mo money, MO money, Mo money....... for the schools and the little chilren.

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Jul 6, 2007

    ncguy, you must have Cary confused with some other Town of Cary somewhere...Cary's Cop to citizen ratio is the lowest in the state and way behind the nation's average...High Point with similar population has twice the police Cary has. What these signs do is gather data to see if speeding complaints are justified before an Officer is sent at taxpayers expense to sit there and find out. Overtime this saves money and the officers are able to respond quicker and with more personnel to more urgent calls.

  • Michael Kenyon Jul 6, 2007

    THC74 (love that nickname) "There is a point in the middle that people should meet when driving."

    That's called an accident!

  • 2MuchPork4Just1Fork Jul 6, 2007

    I agree with Not So Dumb. There are countless roads in Wake County and across the state that have multiple lanes, a divided highway, good pavement, and excellent visibility. Excepting school zones, the only reason for a road like that to be less than 55 mph is the revenue generated from speeding tickets.

  • Mike128 Jul 6, 2007

    We had one of these on our street for a week or so. Highest speed clocked was 55. This was on a dead end neighborhood street with a 25 mph limit. People just don't care. Unless people get tickets from these things, they are useless. NC doesn't have front plates... No way to to find the owner of the car and send them a $500 fine.

  • speedy Jul 6, 2007

    well, Cleanup, just stay in Johnston Cty behind the John Deere then. Nobody's forcing you to drive anywhere.

  • Cleanup on Aisle Cool Jul 6, 2007

    Cary is teh slow.

    35mph on a 4-lane Rd encircling the city - their version of a beltline. Lame.

  • Brick Tamland Jul 6, 2007

    I wonder if the police had to get the town council's permission on the use of the red bulbs for the sign.

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 6, 2007

    If the speed limits were set with the primary interest being safety rather than collecting tickets, I think people would have much greater respect for them. The problem is that the ones that actually contribute to safety get ignored since so many speed limits are set for other reasons.

  • RainierBeer Jul 6, 2007

    Only in Cary...

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