Shaftsbury to Purchase two Traffic Radar Devices with Federal Money
Posted: October 20, 2023
SHAFTSBURY - The Select Board voted unanimously on Monday to purchase two portable Evolis Vision Radar systems for use on town roads.
"We've had multiple discussions here about speeding in certain areas and that type of thing," said Board Chairman Art Whitman. "There has been a small box that has been put on different areas, but we've actually looked into buying the visual radar that measures your speed, but it will also record time and date."
Town Administrator David Kiernan said these units will record some information.
"Its main purpose, though, is a visual cue to people to slow down and try and adjust their behavior. It will record data. It gets mixed reactions," he said of drivers. "I've used these for years and years, and they're always a little mixed.
"This one is the same type they use in Arlington and some other towns I'm aware of. I'm going for the battery option, because we can charge it and move it. And most of the times these things are better when you move them around."
He preferred this to the type with a solar panel, which he said involved complications.
"The other one has solar posts on it, which really has complications to it. You become lazy and think that the sun's going to charge it all the time, and it goes dead half the time," he said. "So, it's not a big deal bringing it in and just charging it. And it also gets you to move it, because we have 70 miles of road, and it would be nice to move these things around.
"We'll just see how it plays out," he said.
He has checked with the federal government, and this is an allowed use of American Rescue Plan Act funds.
"That was one of the holdups with this. I didn't know where we were going to actually come up with $6,800 for two units, but it's an allowed expenditure of ARPA funds."
The data collected with the two units won't be as elaborate as the traffic data collected by the county.
"But it will provide information. It will provide enough data to be worthwhile. We'll be able to share that with the sheriff if we see something that's trackable. You're always going to get someone that's the outlier. A few people are the outliers," he said. "If you see a pattern, it will be easy to do."
One worker can strap the units onto any available pole.
"The batteries will usually last seven to 10 days, and that's a fairly respectable stretch of time for anything to be up. And then you can just pop the battery out and charge it and put it back in the same location if you want," Kiernan said. "It would be nice to move these around, over on East Road, on Bank Street, pick a road."
Board member Tony Krulikowski asked if the sign would flash at speeders "Naughty" and "Nice," similar to an electronic speed sign that does so in Manchester.
This led to some laughter among those present.
"It is programmable but there's opinions that you shouldn't be sending messages on these signs because they're distracting," Kiernan said. "But I chuckled when they first went up, too - the naughty and nice signs."
The Town Administrator will pick the places where the units are used.
A member of the public asked if the town would coordinate with the Sherriff's Department for the benefit of their speed limit enforcement efforts. Kiernan envisioned communicating data collected with the units to the deputy assigned to Shaftsbury.
"Most importantly is trying to pull out time frames, and some of them are kind of obvious, 7 to 9, 3 to 5 people are just roaring on certain streets. Just bring up a little statistical data and say this is what we really need, and (include) the state police, too. This should be a three-way partnership trying to address some of these things."
Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Posted/Author: Mark Rondeau