WESTVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A central Illinois town is trying to address safety concerns while having limited police patrols.
Westville has only five police officers and they said during the summer months, drivers seem to ignore speed limits. Mayor Mike Weese said the speeding has been an issue for some time.
With students heading back to school, police are hoping to crack down on speeding drivers. They purchased a speed radar sign about a month ago and put it on East Main Street. People were very excited when it was put in.
“The signs are very expensive,” Weese said. “I think that’s the reason we’ve put it off.”
Trustee Vic McFadden said that after dozens of complaints and a few accidents, the city decided to do something about it.
“We’ve had children hit on Route 1, our dollar store that used to be in town, it’s been hit multiple times because of people speeding through town,” McFadden said. “They wreck and hit the building.”
“We purchased a speed limit sign that does radar and were able to download the information from that sign,” said Police Chief David Booe.
The sign is currently in a high-traffic area, but it can be moved to other locations.
“When our police department brings it to their neighborhood, they cheer and they’re happy to see it come because they know that us as a city is finally trying to address the issues,” McFadden said.
Booe said that not only is the sign portable, but it acts as a second pair of eyes since the Police Department is short staffed. Officers are now asking for a second sign because of the success they’ve had with the first one.
“I’ve had one actually complain about the signs because the guy says he goes a little bit fast and said it did slow him down,” Booe said.
Leaders said a second sign will give them a better idea of areas that need more policing.
“One of the things we hope is since the sign records speeds, we can take it to the State Police and say ‘Hey, here’s our high speed times. This is a problem we’re having on our route. Can you come help us?'” McFadden said.
Booe said that since they started recording data, they have seen the amount of speeding drivers go down, so for this small town, it’s a win. When they get another, they believe it will only do more.