30-day trial period for speed cameras begins today in Howland

HOWLAND — Howland Township police today will begin use of the automated speed cameras, giving motorists a 30-day period of issuing warnings.

Township Administrator Darlene St. George said Sunday police and officials are using the 30-day warning period to allow motorists time to prepare for use of the cameras.

The goal, police officials say, is to deter excessive speeding and maintain a safe community — especially in school zones, residential areas and high-accident intersections.

Effective March 6, tickets will be issued, costing speeding motorists $100 for 9 mph over the posted limit on main or residential streets, or $150 for 6 mph over posted limits in school zones or work areas.

“The police will be using the cameras in different areas of the township. During the trial period this month the police will tell motorists to slow down. Those who are going excessive speeds above the speed limit will be the ones who will get ticketed. We hope this sends a message for people to slow down,” said St. George.

Trustee James Lapolla said Cain Drive residents have called police frequently to report speeding vehicles heading to the youth ball fields, especially in the spring and summer months.

Lapolla said police also will watch high-accident areas to stop any speeders.

“People are trying to get to the ballfields and are speeding through the neighborhoods. There is concern of children playing in the areas or going to the ballfields,” Lapolla said.

He said those who get ticketed will not receive points on their driver’s licenses nor have to attend municipal court. Instead, they can contest the citation in traffic court, to be set up soon by township officials.

Trustee Chairman Rick Clark said high-traffic areas such as state Routes 46 and 82, where accidents occur more often, also will be targeted.

“If you don’t speed, you won’t be ticketed,” Clark said simply.

The trustees entered into a contract with Blue Line Solutions for the camera equipment.

Clark said police have received training on use of the cameras and are ready for it to be implemented.

St. George said the hand-held camera will allow officers to witness the speed-measuring device. The device will not be mounted.

Officers who are operating the speed-measuring device will still have the ability to perform traditional traffic enforcement as needed.

“We have been discussing it for a long time and now it is being implemented,” Clark said.