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City and Police Team Up to Suss Out Speeding in Wilmington

The City of Wilmington is working with the police to tackle one ongoing problem: speeding in residential areas. City officials are launching a pilot program, based on data they’ve been gathering using hidden radar devices that track vehicular speed within select neighborhoods. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that by the end of this month, the city plans to mail these residents details on speeding patterns along their own streets.

These letters will estimate the number of drivers speeding more than 10 miles over the posted speed limit. After a period of targeted enforcement—via greater police presence and speed minder signs that measure drivers’ speed against the speed limit—follow-up studies will measure the pilot program’s effectiveness. Glenn Harbeck, the head of the city’s planning, development and transportation department, says these measures enable more efficient use of police resources.

"We just have to collect the data first to find out when the worst speeding times are. And then we give that data to the police department and they deploy their patrol out there, say, like, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4:15 to 4:45, if that’s when there’s a consistent number of speeders in that neighborhood. We can deploy them without having them sit out there for six or seven hours."

Back in 2009, the city’s previous traffic management program was cut, due to the economic downturn. Harbeck says the current program is partially motivated by complaints received ever since.