Since You Asked: What determines radar trailer placement?
Q: How do law enforcement authorities decide where to place the mobile radar trailers? Can people suggest certain areas?
Answer from Yuba City police Sgt. Michael Green:
Most radar deployments are dictated by citizen requests. Citizens may request the speed feedback trailers through our department website, through the city’s smartphone app or calling the traffic unit at 822-4795.
Requests are placed on a list and generally handled in the order of the requests. We welcome citizen requests, as it helps us address speed related problems in our community. The speed feedback trailers help make people aware of the speed limit and the speed they are traveling. Unfortunately, it is limited in its effectiveness. Only a fraction of speeders will choose to voluntarily adjust their driving habits.
The volume of requests vary significantly. There are times we get backlogged more than a month or two. Most often it takes only a few weeks to meet a request for the speed feedback trailers. Other factors that may delay a deployment of a speed feedback trailer include the number of speed feedback trailers available and staffing.
The department has only two speed feedback trailers, which limits our ability to meet all requests timely. Additionally, the trailers are deployed by volunteers and moving the trailers is often dependent upon their availability. The speed feedback trailers used to be managed by a community service officer assigned to the traffic unit; however, that position was lost to budget cuts some years ago.
We also place the speed feedback trailers in locations where we know a speed problem exists. The last week of each month, the speed feedback trailers are deployed on the streets where our Neighborhood Speed Awareness program will be focusing the following month.The streets chosen for the Neighborhood Speed Awareness Program tend to have a high frequency of speeding complaints, speed related collision history or observations of speed problems by police or other city personnel.
Often, we start to address locations where drivers tend to exhibit driving in excess of posted speed limits by deploying the speed feedback trailers. As I expressed earlier, the signs tend to seek those willing to voluntarily comply with the law and require only a reminder. Once a speed feedback trailer is deployed, we often follow up with a period of directed enforcement to further encourage adherence to the speed limit and reduce the potential of an injury collision. The purpose of all traffic enforcement is the reduction or even the elimination of injury and fatal traffic collisions.