Speeders beware of trap

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001


PHOTO: ST. JOHN SHERIFF WAYNE L. JONES and Sgt. Kevin Millet stand next to a mobile speed deterrent unit on St. Andrews. Officers tested the device this week. Jones intends to purchase one for the parish soon. (Staff Photo by Amy Szpara) By AMY SZPARA L’Observateur LAPLACE – Local speed demons will soon have something to worry about. St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Wayne L. Jones is purchasing a $15,000 mobile speed deterrent unit to keep residents from flying through neighborhoods. The sheriff’s office is now testing a demonstration model, and Jones said the unit will be used parishwide as a tool to bring awareness to drivers. He said 75-80 percent of speeding is done by local residents and typically involves parents trying to get kids to school and themselves to work in the mornings. “We hope this serves as somewhat of a deterrent and slows people down,” said Jones. He said citizens call to request speed bumps in their areas but say the speed bumps do not stop fast traffic and make too much noise as people fly over them. The unit, which will be purchased within the next month, will be able to keep track of the number of vehicles passing in a specific area throughout the day and what the average speed is. The information can then be downloaded onto a computer and kept on a database. “Speeding through the subdivisions is our primary concern,” said Jones. “Kids will be getting out of school soon.” Jones and others from the sheriff’s office observed passersby slow down on St. Andrews as they came to the deterrent, a local man walked by and said, “This is the first time in seven years that I’ve seen people going 20 miles per hour here.” The mobile unit will be moved throughout the parish and used on the east bank and the west bank. It has a built-in security system and can be locked down at its location, preventing possible theft.