What is Speed Watch?
Speed Watch is a program aimed at reducing incidents of speeding. It is an education program designed to raise public awareness of the actual speeds drivers are traveling. Speed Watch is conducted in partnership with the Presidio of Monterey police and Ord Military Community volunteer citizens.
Speed Watch originated in Washington State King County's Sheriff's Department since the early 1990s. Speed Watch is operated by volunteers trained by the police. Using portable radar equipment or an electronic digital board volunteers monitor speeds in neighborhoods, particularly school and playground zones. Drivers get instant feedback of their speed displayed on the reader board as they pass by. Volunteers pass information about speeding locations onto the police.
Speed Watch helps address traffic and speeding problems through:
- Public and Community Awareness
- Neighborhood Action
- Gathering Speed Related Data
- Police Awareness
Each team of volunteers (2) will pledge four hours per month for 6 months or 1 year. The number of teams will be determined by availability and need.
To reduce speeding in neighborhoods, through an awareness program operated by neighbors, for neighbors.
Citizen volunteers check for speeding in areas selected by police or community members, based on complaints received. The program is one of public awareness and education only.
For safety reasons, areas chosen are restricted to two-lane residential, with speed limits up to 30 mph. A Speed Watch vehicle is legally parked on the side of the road in the same direction as and in clear view of the approaching traffic. Location safety is always a primary concern.
Each location is manned by two volunteers, prescheduled for one or two-hour time slots and locations for the day. Volunteers use a radar measuring device or an optional large reader board mounted on the back of a volunteer vehicle to display oncoming vehicle speeds.
If the optional reader is used a sign showing the posted speed is placed next to the volunteer vehicle. A hand-held radar speed-measuring device, operated from the back of the vehicle determines oncoming vehicle speed. The registered speed is flashed onto the reader board in view of each approaching driver so they can easily see their speed compared to the posted speed.
If only the radar speed-measuring device is used one volunteer holds and points the radar speed device at the approaching vehicle, the other records data (speed, license plate number).
A sign "You have just been clocked on radar by the Ord Military Community Speed Watch Program" is erected in front of, and some distance from the speed watch vehicle so drivers will see it as they pass through the Speed Watch checkpoint.
Speeding in neighborhoods is a subject fraught with anger and frustration. Many speeders are local residents caught in the daily rush. The Speed Watch Program is neighbors helping neighbors to become aware of the issue of speeding through use of this "neighborly reminder" program. Only drivers in serious violation of the speed limit (over 35 mph) are reported to the police via their plate number.
Publicity (media, volunteers and/or actual presence of the reader board) raises neighborhood awareness of speeding problems. The program benefits neighbors by:
- Giving neighbors some control over their streets.
- Having Neighbors remind neighbors to slow down.
- Helping to diffuse neighborhood anger/frustration through involvement.
- Educates drivers of their traveling speed.
- Reports dangerous drivers, dangerous traffic areas to police for further action.
- Various operational reports are filled out by Speed Watch volunteers to:
- Alert community members as to traffic flow.
- Alert police to areas with persistent speed/traffic problems.
Speed Watch is a community/Police Crime Prevention Program that offers the tools and a challenge to neighbors to help address the issue of speeding in their neighborhood. It also:
- Provides data to police, schools and communities regarding traffic flow problems, traffic speeds, etc.
- Saves communities money through evaluated allocation of police enforcement
- Saves neighbors money and indignation by avoidance of speeding tickets
- Saves neighbors frustration through their involvement in speeding issues.