Portable radar serves its purpose
Arla Capel , acapel@theintelligencer.com

Marci Winters-McLaughlin/Intelligencer
Edwardsville police track speed zones
It's not just for looks. The Edwardsville Police Department placed its portable radar on St. Louis Street to warn drivers that their excessive speeding is being watched.

Lt. Jeff Mills of the Edwardsville police said the radar is out for several reasons including complaints received from aldermen and community members and because they are checking speeds in that particular area.

"The radar is a deterrent for speedy drivers," Lt. Mills said. "It lets people know that even a few miles over the speed limit make a difference."

Mills said the radar has several features that assist the police department with speed control. Once the speed has been clocked on the radar, it is recorded in the machine. This allows the police to tabulate the median speed of cars traveling down the road. The radar will also add the amount of cars it clocks traveling down the road. This allows police officers to figure how many cars are traveling on the road at certain times of the day and what percentage of those cars are speeding. It also allows for drivers to check their speedometer to make sure their car is reading what the screen is showing on the radar.


A driver will be warned if their speed is too excessive. The machine will flash red if the car is traveling just a few miles over the speed limit. Otherwise, the screen will flash with the speed in a yellow color.

Mills said the radar was bought a few years ago due to the changing roadways, speed limits, excessive speeding and traffic accidents. Mills also said the machine is used all over town and can be moved at anytime.

Janet Haroian, Alderman for Ward 3, in Edwardsville said the device moves when there are complaints.

"The people in the communities will sometimes make complaints to the alderman or the police about speeding or traffic along the roads," Haroian said. "When that happens, the police move the radar to that area to determine a solution for the problem."

Haroian also said that some streets are more of an issue than others.

"Plum Street is an area where people pick up speed," Haroian said. "And St. Louis Street is well lit and kept up, so drivers look at the houses and scenery and forget about how fast they are going."

Another issue with St. Louis Street is the change from residential to university. People have the tendency to pick up speed once they are out of residential. Although the speed limit does change from 30 to 45 mph, drivers still look to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

Any complaints about traffic related issues should be directed towards the Edwardsville Police Department at 656-2131.