reminded to slow down
County police are setting up a machine that shows motorists how fast they are going
County Sheriff’s Patrolman Bill Young, left,
and Sgt. John Kuehl discuss how the county’s new
speed detector display can download driving data
into a computer for analysis. Police can then determine
where in the county people are speeding the most.
(Michael Gard / The Times)
Kosky Times Staff writer
A man driving through the Heritage Valley
subdivision spotted a machine on the roadside that was
measuring his speed and displaying it in big,
illuminated red numbers.
The man's speed dropped from 35 down to
the speed limit of 30 once he saw the device Wednesday morning.
Porter County Sheriff's Department
officer Bill Young, who parked down the road from the machine for a
half hour, said he didn't notice a lot of speeding along the
normally speeder-heavy road.
The machine was purchased by the
Sheriff's Department in an attempt to remind people of their speeds
and get them to slow down. The machine is on a trailer, and can be
towed to various problem areas throughout the county. Police are
reminding motorists that where the machine is set up, an officer may
be parked nearby to see if people are getting the message.
"We're trying to remind people to
please obey the speed limit," Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds
Reynolds used the same type of machine
with success when he was the Portage Police chief. A similar machine
also is used by Valparaiso Police.
Wednesday was the second time the
machine was placed in Heritage Valley, a subdivision just south of
Valparaiso. Reynolds said that one resident who had called to
complain about speeders called back to thank police for parking the
"If I had the money, I'd buy two of
them," Reynolds said.
"Since I've been here, one of the
biggest complaints I've been receiving is speeding... I think (the
machine) makes a big difference."
Sgt. John Kuehl, who is in charge of
moving the machine around, will be putting it in school zones before
and after school and will also put it in areas known to have
problems with speeding.
Kuehl said the machine also helps
police because it keeps track of the number of vehicles each hour
and it keeps track of the speed of each vehicle. Police can use that
information to decide that they need to patrol for speeders at a
certain time each day.
"It proves or disproves if there is a
problem," Kuehl said.
The machine cost $13,000, but Reynolds
said that is less than the cost of a manned squad car. And a lot of
times, people who complain about speeders don't see that a squad car
has been on their road throughout the day, but they do see the speed
"It's a tremendous asset for us,"
"People realize that when they call
with a complaint, we're doing something about it. That's important."