Dickson police to use new radar technology to target speeders - WSMV Channel 4

Dickson police to use new radar technology to target speeders

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DICKSON, TN (WSMV) -

There's a new way for police to give you a ticket without ever pulling you over.

Traffic stops can take an officer on average about 20 minutes, so in high-traffic and high-risk areas - such as school zones - Dickson police will try something new to speed up the process and slow down more drivers.

"It's not a money-making idea at all on this. This is trying to get some of these areas that there's a huge need for slowing people down," said Dickson police Chief Ricky Chandler.

The city signed on with Brentwood-based Applied Technology Partners, which took the traditional radar gun and gave it a high-tech boost.

The Velocity Snap system allows an officer to use radar with an attached camera to target and track vehicles, then automatically produce speeding tickets.

Officers will also wear special glasses to record video of traffic stops.

"The big difference between it and the red light cameras is you've got an actual human being operating the system," Chandler said.

Drivers tagged by the technology receive civil infractions and $50 fines that will stay off a driver's record. The idea is more to encourage rather than punish drivers.

"This is simply a tool. It's not intended as a replacement for the traditional stop of law enforcement. But if we can capture and eliminate questions on both sides of the fence, then it's beneficial for the public as well as for the law enforcement department," said John McConnell, with Applied Technology Partners.

In Dickson, police plan to primarily target school zones, boosting the number of speeding tickets in a new push to cut down on danger.

"A small slap on the wrist is a lot of times more effective than a $200-plus citation that you get," Chandler said.

As for the $50 fine, half goes to the company and half to the city.

Drivers cited can ask for a hearing and fight the citation.

Training for officers will begin in Dickson at the end of the month.

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