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How’re You Driving? Radar Will Flash You Your Speed

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FARMINGTON — The latest in law enforcement technology will make its debut on town roads next week when police deploy a computerized radar.

The trailer-sized piece of machinery does not dispense speeding tickets. It flashes a digital readout to each driver, showing the speed the driver is going, while an internal computer keeps track of traffic volume and how many motorists are complying with the speed limit.

The information can be used by police to determine problem spots and where they want to position officers to monitor traffic, Sgt. Willie B. Williams said.

“It’s kind of like an extra body,” he said.

Starting after Labor Day, the unit, known as S.M.A.R.T. for Speed Monitoring Awareness Radar Trailer, will be positioned in school zones, dangerous intersections and neighborhoods where there are lots of children, he said.

The device is there to serve as a reminder to speeders. It gives them a chance to slow down without receiving a ticket, Williams said. Granby police purchased the device last year with a $15,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation.

It is now rotated among eight area departments — Windsor, Bloomfield, Avon, Canton, Granby, Simsbury, Farmington and Suffield — said Lt. David Watkins of the Granby Police Department. One officer from each of the towns has been trained in its use. The departments are not charged for using the radar.

“It’s a great community education tool,” Watkins said of the radar. “It lets the departments plan their enforcement strategies.”

Any Farmington resident who would like to have the radar installed in a particular neighborhood should contact Sgt. Williams at 673- 8216.

 
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