James Meggison and speeding cars
TRANSPORTATION Roadside sign snags speeders in the act Radar unit in trailer displays driver's speed as he passes. By TEK TALMONT Courier-News Courier-News Courier-News Staff Writer PISCATAWAY - From a distance, distance, it could pass for one of those blinking signs warning of "construction ahead." But as a motorist approaches it, he or she will see a digital display of the speed at which they are traveling, right below the posted speed limit. Smart? You bet! The Speed Monitoring Awareness Awareness Radar Trailer SMART made its debut Tuesday, to the surprise of numerous motorists who sped past its Morris Avenue location. One woman locked in at 58 mph in the 35 mph zone was reduced to tears when pulled over by a motorcycle cop, until she was informed that only warnings were being issued during the press demonstration demonstration Tuesday. "We hope they wise up and realize realize that speed can kill," said Lt. Walter Majerski, head of the township's Traffic Safety Division. 'Very careful driving' Police Chief Pat LaRocco said the unit, costing nearly $9,000, was purchased with funds in last year's police budget. Majerski said the unit arrived last week and was tried at a couple couple of other locations. Mayor Ted Light admitted that when he went out looking for it, he found himself clocked at 41 mph. "I was very careful driving over here this morning," he said. 1 SPEED LIMIT 35 YOUR SPEED (I V T I I V Courier-News Courier-News Courier-News photo by Dave Adornato Piscataway police Officer Robert Brokaw, right, clocks the speed of a passing car on Morris Avenue' Tuesday as Officer James Meggison takes off after the car on his motorcycle. The trailer is a self-contained self-contained self-contained unit that can be set up along the road and left unattended, Majerski said. "We plan to use it primarily for educational purposes," he said. "Motorists driving by can check the accuracy of their own speedometers." With two officers at the ready behind the trailer, pulling out to stop motorists exceeding the limit, Majerski said the unit could be used for enforcement purposes and "the drivers will have seen the speed at which they were clocked as they drive by." But an Edison man heading home Tuesday, after passing the unit with a locked-in locked-in locked-in speed readout readout of 47, said afterwards he "thought I was only doing 37." "If it's accurate, it's a good idea," he conceded. Those pulled over received either either a verbal explanation of what was going on, and in several instances, instances, warnings were issued. "In the future, we will place the trailer at different locations throughout the township, and announce announce the locations in advance," said Majerski. Speeding summonses summonses will be issued in the future, he said, but in some instances, motorists motorists will be given warnings or literature about use of seat belts. Majerski said he saw the radar unit in North Carolina and felt it would be a valuable addition to the traffic safety program in the township. The unit is in use in California California and Nevada, but he said Lawrenceville is the only other New Jersey community to have one. Manufactured by Kustom Signals Signals Inc., the unit is battery-operated battery-operated battery-operated battery-operated and solar-powered. solar-powered. solar-powered. Majerski said it is capable of running for three days on its batteries.