Photo Radar Deserves A Try

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The first attempt at using photo radar in the Rim Country will be up and running within two months in Star Valley.

It is the belief of the Star Valley mayor and town council that something needs to be done to get people to slow down through the small community.

It is easy to see why some residents and the town want to slow people down. All you have to do is drive through the community at the posted speed limit. You feel like you are in slow motion when driving the speed limit.

During busy travel times you can take your life into your hands by turning in to a business or trying to cross the highway. Hopefully a photo radar system will draw attention to the speeding problem and get people to slow down.

There will be photo radar cameras on both sides of town, just after the 45 mph signs. The system will take a photo of cars exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph and issue tickets after a 30-day grace period.

During the first month of use, only warnings will be issued, after that it will cost motorists who speed through Star Valley. The photo radar violations will be reviewed by a certified police officer the town intends to hire.

Wade Bettisworth from Redflex said a review of traffic through town indicates a photo enforcement system would be beneficial.

The Star Valley system will be similar to the one being used on the Loop 101 in Scottsdale.

The Redflex representative said his company found 31 violations of excessive speed heading eastbound and 18 westbound violations in two separate three-hour spans.

Not everyone likes the idea. Town Mayor Chuck Heron and councilors Bill Rappaport, Del Newland and Bill Heath had to overrule their three counterparts to get the measure passed with a split council vote.

Residents also had mixed views about the proposal.

Larry Cory said he was concerned about the stigma that would accompany the enforcement system in the small town.

Bernadette Heath reminded the council of the town's mission statement: in short, to protect the citizens of Star Valley.

"This, to me, seems like a very responsible answer," she said. "(It will make) our little town safer for the residents of Star Valley."

We agree that it is worth a try to slow down motorists. Some drivers think that posted speed signs have no bearing on them, just other people who might be in their way. The posted speed signs are there to ensure the safety of the traveling public. If you observe the posted speed limits you are less likely to be involved in an accident. The Rim Country is getting more and more traffic as it grows and attracts visitors. Keeping our roads safe has to be a top priority.

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