To battle speeding, Cumberland will have full fleet of moving radar

To battle speeding, Cumberland will have full fleet of moving radar

Desmarais: Department has seen a shift to being more proactive

CUMBERLAND – Local police are dramatically expanding their fleet of cars equipped with cutting-edge moving radar, hoping to address one of the most common local complaints and catch more speeders.

Half of the Cumberland Police Department’s current fleet of 12 front-line patrol and traffic cruisers have moving radar equipment allowing their operators to catch speeders driving toward them from the opposite direction, and the department is now expanding that number by another five, leaving just one vehicle without the technology.

“With the use of additional radar units, the Cumberland Police would be better equipped to combat speeding in a town (where the) predominant complaint from its residents is speeding,” said Chief John Desmarais in a memo explaining the plan.

From Jan. 1 to Jan. 21, police conducted 502 stops, 157 of those for speeding with 118 citations. During last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, when fewer people were on the road, there were 280 more stops for speeding than in all of 2019. There were 3,793 total stops, including 1,396 for speeding with 1,107 citations. Though the overall number of stops decreased, there was an increase in speeding stops, many representing egregious violations, said Desmarais.

The town has many roads that are very narrow and make the use of stationary radar impossible, said the chief, including Abbott Run Valley Road, which is heavily used by pedestrians, cyclists and runners, and has no sidewalks. The road is heavily trafficked as a cut-thru to many areas, he said, and is likely used by some 5,000 motorists per day.

From Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 21, 2021, police have conducted 240 vehicle stops for speeding on Abbott Run Valley Road, the majority of those by utilizing moving radar. Other similar narrow roads with high traffic volumes include Hines Road and North Attleboro Road, Desmarais said.

“The Cumberland Police have recently had an increase in new officers (after numerous) retirements over the last few years,” wrote the chief. “As such, the culture of the department has shifted greatly and become very proactive, which the administration of the department is in great support of. As such, the Cumberland Police are prepared to pay for the installation of these five radar units.”

The Cumberland Town Council last week approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Jeff Mutter and the Police Department to purchase five Raptor RP-1, Dual K-Band Antenna, Directional Mode Moving Radars from Kustom Signals, in an amount not to exceed $7,165 combined.


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Capt. Mike Ride presented the proposal to council members, some of who did not appear to realize that Cumberland already utilizes the moving radar. The purchase will be funded through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the department’s traffic safety account. By “piggybacking” on a state bid, Ride said the department is spending $1,433 apiece on the equipment instead of $1,785, for a total savings of $1,760.

Ride said this is the latest state-of-the-art technology, allowing an officer to not only catch the speed a driver is traveling as they come toward them, but to pick up the car after it passes. It can also calculate how fast a driver is going if they come up fast behind a police cruiser.

Comments

Great to hear that! I didn't know they had the new technology to catch moving speeders in opposite direction, several years ago they did not. People seriously need to slow down. No need for the rush..

I am convinced that what with all of the distractions, people just not paying attention, etc., etc., there could be other factors and procedures to put in place that could help...and not ay a log of cost!!!

Personally, I do not think we have enough Speed Limit Signs...and they often spread out too far apart? Again, Driver Attention is a Big Issue!

As but one example turn North onto Diamond Hill Rd., off of Nate Whipple...there are no signs. I know from my GPS the speed is 30MPH. A speed for a State highway I would bet would surprise most..most driving way over it!.

How about using a lot of those new Solar Powered, Radar Tracking, Speed Limit Signs that tell you the Speed Limit and then flash how fast you are going!!!! Especially for our back, narrow, 25-MPH roads.

Lastly, to drivers...a tip!

Use your vehicle's Speed Control Device. It IS NOT easy driving slow speeds, takes a lot of concentration.

Most people only think to use it on Interstates.

Wrong...it is invaluable on roads such as Bear Hill, Hinrs, Abbott Run, Leigh, Lippitt, Little Pond County, and more...especially Reservoir Road that is oft driven at Interstate Speeds!!

I've been doing so, using my Speef Control, for years and it works Great, very relaxing, etc.

Just trying to help!

THANK YOU Chief Desmarais, Mayor Mutter, and our Police Officers for your efforts!

Tom Letourneau

Take a minute and look at you own speedometer and you will find the speeder is you. It is so easy to go 25-30 mph without ever realizing how fast you are actually going. No one drives 25 mph, never mind 15-20 mph, this goes for you, your neighbors and friends. get over it. tired hearing how fast people are going. Cumberland Whiners....