Residents start a neighborhood "speed watch" program - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Residents start a neighborhood "speed watch" program

May 20, 2003

Albany- Soon police officers won't be the only ones with radar guns. Residents who live along Hilltop Drive and Valley Road will have them too.

"This program is basically modeled after the neighborhood watch concept. In other words, we're empowering the people in the neighborhood to do something about their problem, in this instance speeding problem, realizing that the police department can't be everywhere all the time," says Sgt. Leonard Bell.

First residents sign a pledge card promising to slow down themselves and hopefully become a pace car for other motorists.

"Once they sign the pace car pledge they get a window cling decal so that when you get behind one of these vehicles you know just to go ahead and slow down because they're not going to speed through a neighborhood," explains Michele DeMott of Albany Safe Communities.

Then they become eligible to take a radar class next month to learn to clock speeds. Violators won't get a ticket but will get a letter in the mail asking them to slow down.

"You get a sense of community behind trying to slow people down as well so we'll see if it works out," says Nathan Levy. And if it does, residents say they'll be relieved to know their neighborhood is once again safe for them and their children.

Several people signed up for the program tonight. Organizers have already received requests from people in other neighborhoods to begin the program in their area.

Posted at 9:10 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com