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Going too fast in downtown Asheboro? Radar will let you know

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ASHEBORO — Motorists traveling east on Sunset Avenue are being told how fast they’re going.

A radar display sign was set up Tuesday morning in front of Collector’s Antique Mall, approaching the railroad tracks in downtown Asheboro. The device shows the speed of an east-bound vehicle.

Master Lt. Richard Thompson explained that the display is being used based on complaints by citizens and business owners. He said the device will be there a week or two before being moved to another location.

“It’s a proactive tool to help the motoring public recognize how fast they’re going,” Thompson said. “It keeps a record of speeds, the average speed for a time period and the maximum speed.”

He said it gives an idea of how fast the traffic is for a particular area.

The radar sign can also be set up without displaying speeds, keeping track of speeds without drivers realizing it’s there. That can provide officers with a more accurate average speed since drivers normally slow down when they see their speed displayed.

That is just one way the Asheboro Police Department is keeping track of speed on city streets. Officers also use what’s called LiDAR(Light Detection And Ranging), a laser speed measuring device, to do surveys. Thompson said an officer and a trainee will get out of their car to use the LiDARfor tracking speeds. Complaints about speeders in a neighborhood can bring out the LiDAR.

“The devices are accurate, like radar in a patrol car,” Thompson said. “They’re very reliable.”

Using a LiDAR, the Traffic Division keeps records in a data base for assessments of various areas of the city. When records show a neighborhood to be a problem area, more patrols will be sent there.

“Our goal is to educate drivers so they can help fix the problem themselves,” Thompson said, noting that if drivers see a number on a display, they tend to slow down. He said it’s preferable for drivers to slow down rather than have to be stopped by an officer.

“I never found joy in giving someone a ticket,” he said. “We would rather educate and help deter problems.”



Courtesy: Larry Penkava

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