Police don’t mind Web site posting speedtraps

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    By ANDREW A. ADAMS

    The Orem Police said they are not opposed to Web sites that list speedtrap locations and profiles, as long as the information posted is accurate.

    Some debate has been raised on the issue with the availability of speedtrap information on the Internet, such as on The Speedtrap Registry at www.speedtrap.com.

    Orem Police Department officials deny that they have specifically-located traps like the ones listed on The Speedtrap Registry, and that their traffic watch often depends on demand.

    Lt. Ned Jackson of Public Safety said he isn’t against sites that post traffic monitoring information.

    “These sites can be good and bad,” Jackson said. “They can be good if they cause people to slow down their driving. They can be bad if people use the information on the sites to know which streets to dodge so that they can drive fast on others.”

    Sgt. Bill Young, who spearheads Orem Police Department’s traffic enforcement, said sites like www.speedtrap.com can be helpful.

    “It doesn’t bother me as long as (these sites’) information is accurate,” Young said. “We are trying to get people to control speed and drive safely.”

    Accuracy can be an issue with sites like www.speedtrap.com. Location postings are most often from input by concerned or watchful drivers.

    By searching through the Atlanta-based The Speedtrap Registry, which was created by 23-year-old computer engineer Andrew Warner, one can find 17,000 different speedtrap entries with information on locations, methods of enforcement, type of police car, typical fines and sometimes even local scanner frequencies.

    The Speedtrap Registry also provides links to The WWW Cop Car Registry, which details different types of marked and unmarked police cars in all the states, and to the National Motorists Association, which is an entity described on the site as one devoted to representing and protecting the rights and interests of North American motorists.

    Jackson and Young said the Orem Police implements no permanent speed traps, and, along with UVSC Chief of Police Lonny Fisher, say there is no trap at 1200 West and 600 South like the one specified on Warner’s site.

    Young said for police to monitor and enforce a specific stretch of road, the process begins with requests from residents.

    “If we get a complaint about speeding or accidents, we’ll have a study started within Public Works,” Young said. “We’ll then determine what we have to do for enforcement based on that study.”

    Both Young and Jackson said they have several means of checking and enforcing road safety conditions. Included are hoses that check traffic frequency, radar patches on the road that measure speeds, radar trailers that tell drivers how fast they are traveling and traditional radar gun with police car enforcement.

    Jackson said the traffic division of Orem police is too small to organize consistent and specific traps.

    “We have three traffic officers and they are split up during the day,” Jackson said. “We’ll station them at places where speeds are way up. But our officers also have to respond to accidents.”

    According to information on Warner’s site, The Speedtrap Registry gets 100,000 visitors per week. The Web site said the information included within is not to undercut the efforts of police, but to control motorists’ speeds on dangerous roads.

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