BERLIN – The town is moving forward with plans to add speed cameras to Flower Street and Seahawk Road.
Elected officials told Police Chief Arnold Downing this week they supported adding speed cameras to locations on Flower Street and Seahawk Road. The locations were recommended after speed studies throughout town.
“We’ll definitely keep you up to date,” Downing said. “We wanted you to know these were the locations.”
The Town of Berlin approved a contract with RedSpeed, a company that works with municipalities to provide automated traffic enforcement initiatives, in August. In the months since, Downing has been working with the company to conduct speed studies at various locations in town. He presented the council with the results of those studies on Monday and recommended the town move forward with installing cameras on Flower Street and Seahawk Road. Other streets that were suggested as locations, including West Street, Main Street and William Street, didn’t have the numbers to merit cameras, he said. In order to receive a ticket through the automated speeding system, motorists have to be at least 12 mph over the speed limit. The northbound William Street speed study, for example, showed 139 drivers going more than 5 mph over the limit but only 15 speeders going more than 10 mph over the limit. Northbound Seahawk Road, on the other hand, had 970 drivers going more than 5 mph over the speed limit and 296 drivers going more than 10 mph over the limit.
““We’re talking about volume—when you look at Seahawk we have volume—and we also look at speed thresholds,” Downing said.
Because there is so much speeding on those roads, Downing said the town might approach county officials for permission to lower the speed limit there.
Mayor Zack Tyndall pointed out that if speeding became a problem in other areas in town RedSpeed could evaluate them in the future. Downing agreed that there could be additional evaluations but added that there were some areas that would always need to be monitored by police. He said on West Street, for example, there were problems with people running stop signs more than speeding.
“We know certain areas we are going to have to use other manners of enforcement,” he said.
Officials indicated they were eager to see the cameras installed in hopes that it would reduce speeding.
“This is a win,” Councilwoman Shaneka Nichols said.
Downing said he’d sign the necessary paperwork and determine the signage and electrical needs to proceed.