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Council learns radar trailer is slowing down drivers

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MATTOON –The City Council heard Tuesday evening that the Mattoon Police Department’s new radar speed trailer has been slowing down speeding drivers in construction and school zones.

Police Chief Jeff Branson reported that officers have been using the trailer on an almost-daily basis since putting it into service in mid-September. The trailer uses radar to measure the speed of passing motorists and can flash the recorded speed and messages, such as “slow down,” on a lighted sign.

Branson said the trailer has been placed in construction zones on Illinois Route 16 and in school zones. He said officers have noticed a reduction in traffic speed in these zones, heard positive feedback from those who work there, and received requests to place the sign in various residential neighborhoods.

“(The radar speed trailer) has been a good tool so far,” Branson said.

The department purchased the approximately $17,000 radar speed trailer with the help of a $10,800 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Branson said. The grant was supplemented with money from the department’s DUI enforcement fund, he said.



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