Police Unveil Photo/Radar Van

The latest addition to speed enforcement in Colorado Springs is already at work. Police are parking a marked van equipped with radar and cameras to catch speeders.

One of the newest vehicles in the CSPD doesn't look like it would win many races.

"We have one van," said police spokesperson Sgt. Steve Noblitt Thursday.

Despite only having one camera and radar enhanced Toyota passenger van, police consider it an advantage. Instead of chasing speeders, the cameras on board catch license plate numbers and drivers' faces on camera.

When a series of flashes detonates from three lights on top of the vehicle a fine could follow days later in the mail.

"For all intents and purposes, it's a ticket," Noblitt said.

The penalty assessment notice will include a $40 fine for drivers going more than five over in most areas the van will be parked. The fine doubles for speeding in a school-zone. So far only warnings have been delivered.

"Me being a parent, it's something I think that's important for the safety of the kids, so I agree with it," said Dan Davidson, whose daughter goes to school at Stratton Elementary.

An officer will park the van, and stay with the vehicle near schools, parks and neighborhoods as well as construction sites where speed limits are reduced.

Supporters of the plan tell 11 News the additional enforcement adds a measure of peace of mind.

"I have a young child and would hate for someone to be speeding through the neighborhood and for her to get run over," said one Colorado Springs driver Thursday.

A few have come out against it on the KKTV 11 News Facebook page.

Marylinn wrote on Thursday: "Thanks Colorado Springs police department for spending my tax dollars on something that doesn't benefit me or anyone."

Timothy wrote: "Another fine example of "big brother" assuming we need monitoring at every possible point throughout our day."

"With this program, we recognize that it will help us do our jobs more efficiently," said Noblitt.

Operating the van will be the duty of two officers who can catch, in some cases, a line of speeders without having to put the van in drive. They may not follow those going too fast, but in two weeks, the fines will.

Noblitt said it costs $5,200 a month to operate the van. When the program goes into full swing police told 11 News the system will pay for itself.

As required by law, a sign indicating photo-radar is in use will be placed 300 - 500 feet ahead of where the van will be parked. Drivers, who get a penalty notice by mail, can pay it or contest it in court. When the system goes live on May 5, if the cameras catch a driver going between five or nine miles over the speed limit a one-time warning will be issued. The next time, it will be a fine.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Dan Location: NW on May 6, 2011 at 10:01 AM
    Cool.. Fire the police and hire the robots. I can't wait until we're walking around with leashes on like we're 3 year olds. This is just breeding more dependence and mindlessness.
  • by kayo Location: Colorado Springs on May 4, 2011 at 01:25 PM
    Why are we wasting our time and tax dollars ticketing people who speed and run red lights when there is no accident? It's not "nice" to do either, but they are both victimless crimes on their own sole merit. It's idiotic to try to legislate "niceness".
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 24, 2011 at 12:02 PM
    I bet if you don't break the law, you'll never even notice this van. While 5mph isn't much on the highway, it makes a big difference in residential areas in terms of stopping time and reaction. And anyway... going 5mph over won't get you anywhere any faster. It just burns more expensive gasoline and makes you more dangerous.
  • by Rediculous Location: COS on Apr 23, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    No one does the speed limit. They are either going to fast or too slow. 1 van will not make a dent in the speeding in this city. How about we stop talkin on the cell phone, eating while driving, putting makeup on while driving and all the other bad habits you may have. This does include all active police officers cause they seem to be pretty good at doing all the above themselves. Speeding will not stop just like the crime rate will not go down. We just have to deal with it cause the city is broke and the citizens voted down any help they would get the last election.
  • by DW Location: COS on Apr 22, 2011 at 04:02 PM
    Why don't the police watch the people going right on red at 25 mph turning north on Academy from Hwy 83? I think we need more than one of these vans. COS drivers feel they have the right to break the law without consequences.
  • by noone Location: springs on Apr 22, 2011 at 03:08 PM
    I'm tired of people speeding through my neighborhood. I say take down the warning sign, issue a real ticket on the first offense.
  • by BW Location: COS on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM
    OK, this is a money-making scheme. Period. 5 MPH over the limit? Re they kidding? EVERYONE goes 5 MPH over the limit. Does this thing send e-tickets to everyone in the photo? It might as well, because EVERYONE is speeding. And here is something I want to know - will it send an e-ticket to that police cruiser who is also going in excess of 5 MPH over the limit?
  • by free4flight Location: Colorado Springs on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM
    No worries people, these photo radar contraptions are not enforceable. There is no living breathing witness, there is no points, there is no crime. Don't even send in the fine, it is not enforceable. They going on the notion that, as always, the people know no better and will just simply pay. We are in the process of getting our real government back and we will get our constitution back as well. The end of their 'commercial' system is just about over. Educate yourself people. www.creditorincommerce.com Knowledge is power...
  • by good Location: cos on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM
    if ppl are not speeding why is everyone here worried about a parked car? and they are not checking it at I25. They are doing it where there are kids around; schools, parks.
  • by applejax Location: c.springs on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    OK...so whats up with the UN-marked blue van that showed up with motorcycle cop couple weeks ago? Vehicle is prob changed daily; might even be a borrow from springs impound. Could barely even make the driver out as a cop when he rolled window down (patch on upper sleeve). But straight up it was a older, everyday soccer mom ride. Spotter maybe...?
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