Police department acquires speed board
By Caitlin Bittner
On May 30, the Prairie du Chien Police Department started using its new speed board; since then, it has helped to gather a lot of data.
As many residents may have noticed, the premiere location of the speed board was on the new highway 18 bypass. At that location, the device was able to gather data each day regarding traffic counts.
“The data we’ve collected so far is from May 30 to June 9. It gave us an everyday traffic count, the percentage of speeders and the average speed,” said Police Sergeant Kyle Teynor.
Teynor reported that the average speed found was 34.1 mph, which lines up closely with the given speed limit of 35 mph. When it comes to traffic, the new speed board is also able to track the times of day at which there are more violators and produce a graph.
This graph, explains Teynor, will be used to help him distribute the officers. “We can take this data and replace the sign with an officer, and then replace the officer with the sign again to measure the difference.”
Aside from graphing and reporting data, the new board can also take photos of violating cars. “The photos won’t be used for prosecutions,” assured Teynor, “however, we can look at the pictures and if an officer pulls someone over, it will help instill that what [the officer] is doing is worth it.”
The board is also able to report traffic congestion to police officers in the case of a potential crash, or a big event.
Everything with the new speed board is run electronically and instantaneously, meaning that updates are sent directly to a computer and via text message. Teynor added that while all operations of the device are run in-house, all of the members of the Prairie du Chien Common Council have access to the data collected via computer. “This way, they can also be looking at the data of areas of concern.”
Because the device is so high-tech and fairly compact, it also comes included with a GPS tracker in case of tampering or removal. “It will immediately start taking photos of its environment if it’s stolen,” said Teynor.
The new speed board was purchased with help from funds from a Department of Transportation grant. “It’s never going to leave a pole,” commented Teynor, who would like to add more of these to the department in the future.
Teynor additionally hopes to use the new speed board to address areas around town where people have reported traffic concerns. If you have questions, or know of an area you would like to see the speed board utilized, please contact Sergeant Teynor at 326-2421.