Friday, December 15, 2017

High-tech guns detect 20 speeding motorists

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TESTING: Road Safety Council's Brent Batson times the speed of a vehicle using a TruCam Speed Enforcement Tool during yesterday's demonstration on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook opposite MauPau. At right is Adande Piggott, Ministry of Works traffic engineer. –Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

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High-tech speed guns to catch speeding motorists were put to the test yesterday along Ariapita Avenue, in Port of Spain and over 20 drivers were detected as driving over the speed limit in less than 50 minutes.

During the exercise, which took place along Ariapita Avenue, near French Street, began around 6.30 a.m. and ended two hours later officially recorded 20 drivers between 6.40 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. driving at least 10 kilometres above the legal limit of 50 kilometres per hour.

The errant drivers were identified using two high-tech speed guns the Tru Speed Test and Tru Cam.

The exercise was a collaboration of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service's Road Safety Project and the Road Safety Council.

The Tru Cam can produce video evidence of the speeding driver, giving name of the officer conducting the exercise, and the speed of the vehicle, date, time and location where the test was conducted.

The Tru Speed Test, which resembles a pair of binoculars, does not have the evidential capability as the other machines but can still detect speedy drivers.

The Tru Speed Test, which was on loan by local company Laser Tech, costs $17,000 per unit while the Tru Cam costs $75,000 a unit.

According to the Motor Vehicle Road Traffic Act 2010 anyone found guilty of speeding is liable to a fine of $1,000.

Brent Batson, vice chairman of the Road Safety Council said that the device needed minimal training to use the equipment.

Keith Renaud, Director Office of Law Enforcement Policy of the Ministry of National Security said he thinks that the use of the device is "long overdue".

"Since I joined the Police Service more than 40 years ago there have been talks of this sort of equipment to deal with the question of traffic lawlessness on the streets. I am happy to know that it is almost here and all is needed now is the legislation to put it in place," Renaud said.

Batson said the next step is to test the guns on Tragarete Road, where pedestrians have been complaining of not being able to cross the road dues to speeding drivers.

He added another test would have to be conducted at night.

Since July 16, both Tragarete Road and Ariapita Avenue have been turned into one way streets to facilitate an experimental traffic plan. Vehicles along Tragarete Road are allowed to head west while eastbound traffic are directed to use Ariapita Avenue.