Accelerated effort to catch speeders

October 15, 2006
JOLIET -- Residents who want police to snag more speeders are getting their wish.

Starting in November, officers and their radar guns will spend extra time -- up to 320 more man-hours per month -- on the streets, Police Chief Fred Hayes said.

"We understand (residents) are asking us to do something about cars speeding down the streets in the city," Hayes said. "That continues to be one of our highest complaints."

Dedicating the amount of officers and hours needed to curb speeders takes money. And the Illinois Department of Transportation is providing that funding through a $60,000 grant to pay for overtime enforcement, according to a statement from Joliet police.

Police first will focus on stretches of road with known speeding problems or multiple speed-related accidents:

Black Road between Raynor and Larkin avenues;

Caton Farm Road between Essington Road and the Interstate 55 overpass;

Collins Street in the 1100 and 1400 blocks; and

Broadway between the 700 and 1000 blocks.

As funds allow, officers will provide extra traffic patrols near schools and in neighborhoods. Officials also will review intersections with high accident counts, like Larkin Avenue and Jefferson Street, to see if speed enforcement is needed there.

The department's goal is to decrease speed-related crashes by 3 percent, Hayes said.

Placing more officers in marked and unmarked cars to catch speeders is not the only step Joliet police are taking to catch traffic violators.

Next year, the department will take advantage of a new state law that allows authorities to use stationary cameras to ticket motorists running red lights.

"We just can't put officers in all these locations," Hayes said.

By law, police cannot use the cameras to catch speeders.

View Andrea Hein's Web log at or contact her at (815) 729-6018 or via e-mail at