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Laflin takes aim at speeders

Police are using speed display trailer to alert motorists how fast they’re traveling.

The speed display trailer displays how fast a motorist was traveling Saturday evening on Laflin Road.

Laflin Police Chief Michael Flanagan explains how the speed display trailer, situated on Laflin Road, works. The chief hopes motorists will slow down after seeing it.

Fred Adams photos/For the Times Leader

LAFLIN – Borough police will be using a speed display trailer for the next couple of weeks to slow traffic on some of their local roadways.

Chief Michael Flanagan of said the trailer is being used as a way to remind drivers to slow down. Recent complaints of speeders on Laflin Road and Main Street prompted the move.

The trailer, equipped with a radar gun that clocks drivers’ speeds and immediately displays them on an electronic screen, will also be used in parts of Yatesville.

Although police can’t enforce speeds by the trailer, Flanagan said it should get the attention of some speeding motorists. Drivers passing by the equipment parked near the borough building on Laflin Road Saturday evening appeared to have reduced their speeds.

“We need to keep it safe for everyone,” he said. “They need to know there are speed limits on these side streets and we’re going to enforce those speeds. We’d rather do this than write tickets.”

Flanagan said the equipment was borrowed through a cooperative agreement with Northeast Highway Safety Program called Buckle Up PA and the state Department of Transportation.

In addition to residential complaints, Flanagan said the PennDOT recently lowered the speed limit on Main Street from 35 to 25 mph.

PennDOT also reduced the truck speed on Laflin Road to 15 mph for vehicles over 21,000 pounds.

Flanagan said police worked with PennDOT to reduce the speeds.

A majority of speeders on borough roadways are truck drivers heading to and from local businesses, Flanagan said. Laflin has also experienced heavy truck traffic due to local road construction, he said.

“These big trucks get in here and tear up yards and rip down wires,” Flanagan said. “We cite them but there is always another one coming.”

Borough police plan to use the speed trailer for the remainder of the month as a warning before aggressively enforcing the speed limits.

“We’ll do our best to try and slow them down,” Flanagan said.

There has been a rise in accidents in previous years, said Flanagan, who hopes to change that with more traffic enforcement.

Last year, there were 86 accidents – 50 of them were reportable crashes involving injury. The number of serious accidents has dropped off tremendously half way this year compared to 2008.

So far this year there have been 46 accidents on borough roadways, he said, with 17 of them resulting in injuries.

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