By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
BEACON FALLS — Police are cracking down on drivers speeding in town.
The state police traffic enforcement unit is in town to step up enforcement of traffic laws, especially speeding. First Selectman Gerard Smith said police will randomly monitor speeding by radar including on Burton Road, Beacon Valley Road, Rimmon Hill Road and Skokorat Road.
“You’re going to see a big increase in police activity writing tickets initially and then it’s going to taper off and be randomly around town, but just know it’s in full force and full effect,” Smith said during the Board of Selectmen’s Nov. 9 meeting. “We should see a big difference in speeding, so that should help.”
The increased enforcement is in response to complaints from residents about drivers speeding on Burton Road, which has a speed limit of 25 mph.
Resident State Trooper Humberto Henriques conducted speed surveys on the road. He said people drove an average speed of 36 mph on the road, while some drivers went above 40 mph.
Officials deliberated whether to install speed tables, which are similar to speed bumps but typically flatter, on the road to deter speeding.
Smith said the speed tables would cause issues for emergency and public works vehicles as well as cost the town money to maintain them. He said enforcement is an easier approach.
“EMS, the fire department and public works have all deemed it would be challenge for their equipment and a challenge for maintenance,” Smith said.
Henriques said speeding is most prevalent on Burton Road. Rimmon Hill Road, Beacon Valley Road, Bethany Road and South Main Street are some other hot spots for speeding, he said.
“It’s been ongoing,” Henriques said. “It seems like it’s been more prevalent now.”
The enforcement effort started Nov. 16.
Henriques said the enforcement unit made 19 stops and gave out 16 tickets on Burton Road on Nov. 17. He said he issued two speeding tickets that morning on South Main Street to drivers doing 58 mph and 60 mph. The speed limit on South Main Street is 40 mph.
“Our main objective is just to correct drivers’ behavior,” Henriques said.
The increased enforcement effort isn’t costing the town additional money since Beacon Falls participates in the resident state trooper program. Under the program, Connecticut State Police provide at least one trooper for towns to oversee police operations. State police also provide services, such as dispatch and booking, for towns in the program.
Smith said there’s no set time frame for the how long the enforcement unit will be in town. He expects the unit to remain until at least the end of the year.