Ashland Police targeting speeders with "stealth" technology

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - Speeding can be a problem on a lot of neighborhood streets. The Ashland Police Department is trying something different to target speeders, and you probably won't even notice.

Police are installing small boxes called a Stealth Stat on utility poles that record how fast cars go by. Holly Rison lives across the street from the Stealth Stat.

"I didn't even know it was there," Rison said.

She says speeding has long been a problem on her street.

"It's relatively busy," she said. "Sometimes it's a cut-through. Folks do tend to speed a little bit, which is really worrisome."

One of Rison's neighbors complained to police about the speeders, so police installed this box to see just how big a problem speeding is here. Police say since most people don't notice the box is even there, they get a more accurate look at how fast people are going down the street.

"Vehicles going down the road, see a radar trailer, police officer running radar, a vehicle parked there, they're going to slow down a little bit," said Lt. James Shelhorse of the Ashland Police Department. "This way, it gives us more of a true reading of their speed and if there is a true speeding problem in that area."

The Stealth Stat does not take pictures of license plates, so you won't receive a ticket if it records you speeding. It's only used to record data to decide if police should increase patrols.

Neighbors say they hope new programs like the Stealth Stat will convince more drivers to slow down.

"We want our streets safe," Rison said. "People speeding don't make it that way."

The Ashland Police Department won a state traffic safety award for its use of the Stealth Stat.

If you want to report a speeding problem in your neighborhood, you can call Ashland PD at 798-1227 or send a report on the department's web site.

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