By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer
SHREWSBURY — On the side of the road on Holman Street in Shrewsbury is a portable radar sign telling drivers how fast they’re going.
A similar sign will soon spring up around Shrewsbury thanks to a grant received by the Shrewsbury Police Department.
“The department is very pleased we were awarded the grant and are looking forward to using the technology to improve our efficiency in traffic enforcement,” said Chief Kevin Anderson.
He credited Lieutenant Nick Perna with putting the grant application together and securing the funds.
According to Anderson, the department received $25,000 for enforcement and equipment through the Municipal Road Safety Grant Program, which is funded through the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
With the equipment portion of the grant funds, the Shrewsbury police were able to purchase two hand-held radar units, which will be used on local roads and during lake patrols. They also bought one radar sign, which will be able to be moved throughout Shrewsbury.
The radar sign, which displays the driver’s speed and tells them if they’re going over the speed limit, was purchased for the purpose of being placed in areas where residents raise concerns about speeding.
The department will be placing the radar in one place for two weeks at a time. Then, it will relocate the device. Currently, it’s on Prospect Street just outside of the downtown area, according to Anderson.
“We’ve had the sign for a few weeks,” Anderson said. “I’ve been told residents have seen cars slow down when they observe their speed on the sign.”
Anderson said the radar will be able to generate data detailing when speeding is occurring the most. He said Lieutenant Michael O’Connor is creating a list of potential locations for the sign based on previous complaints from residents. That list will be updated with future complaints.
The enforcement portion of the grant will go towards traffic enforcement during five specific campaigns throughout the year, focusing on impaired driving, distracted driving, seat belt enforcement and speed enforcement.