DOVER, TN Aug 9 2012
There’s a new way to ticket drivers without ever pulling them over.
It’s already being used in one Middle Tennessee town and could be headed to your neighborhood next.
Tuesday, Dover police began using a new radar system.
It looks a lot like the old one, but with this, officers can send tickets in the mail without ever leaving their cruisers.
Here’s how it works: the officer sees someone speeding and, just like with the traditional radar, they pull the trigger and record drivers’ speeds. Instead of turning on their blue lights and chasing after the violator, the ticket process has already begun and the driver can expect to see a ticket in the mail in about two weeks.
“It increases safety for the people on the road, being that we don’t have to go above the speed limit ourselves to try and catch up with the vehicles. We don’t have to turn into traffic and possibly risk getting involved in an accident,” said Lieutenant Chris Porter with the Dover Police Department.
Just like the cameras on tops of poles and traffic lights, this new radar is already causing controversy.
“I just don’t agree with it,” said local resident Wilton Cherry.
“All it is, is a speed trap,” Charles Fox said.
Some worry it eliminates an officer’s ability to catch other crimes like drunk driving. Plus, opponents said ticketing with out stopping does nothing to slow speedy drivers down.
“Two miles down the road you might run over someone, but you didn’t get stopped, you just kept going 80,” Cherry said.
With the touch of a button, officers can bypass the electronic ticket and make a regular stop.
If you disagree with the ticket, just like those notorious red light cameras, you still have a right to your day in court.
“My mother actually received a citation, not from this one, but from one of the un-manned units. Personally, I would feel better about this than one of those. This is officer witnessed. This is officer used. I know that there’s an officer standing behind this,” Porter said.
The Brentwood-based company that created the new radar is called Applied Technology Partners.
The city of Dover paid nothing for the new system.
Tickets cost drivers $50. Half of the money goes back to Applied Technology Partners and the other half goes to the city.
For the first two weeks, they’ll just be sending out warnings.
So far, only two other Tennessee cities use the system: Selmer and McKenzie.