Sheriff's office to loan radar unit

In an effort to increase safety and decrease speeding, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office is loaning out radar speed detection devices to neighborhood groups.

“We hope this will bring awareness to the drivers,” said Traffic Safety Task Force Coordinator Carolyn Pence. “A lot of times people don’t pay attention to how fast they’re driving. They only go at the speed they feel comfortable.”

Neighborhoods that borrow the unit will be asked to track how many cars travel on the specific road and how fast they are going. This will require a neighborhood resident to take careful notes during the time in question.

While speed will be tracked, license plates will not be copied. Nor will citations be issued.

The $3,000 unit will be loaned on a first-come, first-served basis for a four-day period.

Pence said she hoped the board’s presence “will change people’s behavior, at least for a while.”

Loaning the unit is part of a pilot program which, in turn, is only a part of the new Community Speed Monitoring (COSMO) program.

COSMO’s stated goal is to involve area residents in solving traffic problems, discourage undesirable driving behavior and increase safety. It hopes to accomplish these goals by encouraging citizen involvement in order to decrease the instances of excessive speeds in high-risk neighborhoods.

The Sheriff’s Office is encouraging residents to communicate with each other to discuss the issue through meetings and the distribution of flyers.

In many cases, speeding is a habit and not an intentional law-breaking act. Communication, then, can cause people to break that habit.

Another simple solution is the trimming of vegetation in order to improve sight lines and pedestrian safety.

For additional information or assistance in implementing the COSMO program in a specific neighborhood, contact Pence at (360) 337-4647.

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