Sheriff’s office gets new tool to fight speedingLook out, speeders. St. Louis County deputies aren’t using just traditional radar speed guns to catch drivers pushing the pedal to the metal.
By: Budgeteer News staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
Look out, speeders. St. Louis County deputies aren’t using just traditional radar speed guns to catch drivers pushing the pedal to the metal.
The sheriff’s office was presented recently with a LiDAR device, valued at $3,000, in recognition of its work with the Toward Zero Deaths program. LiDAR is an acronym for Light Detection And Ranging. Using laser light pulses, the technology can detect speeding vehicles from a greater distance than radar.
The LiDAR device was presented to Sheriff Ross Litman during a county board meeting last month. It was given by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety to call attention to the county’s extra enforcement efforts this past December.
“The safety of our citizens and visitors as they travel through our large county is always one of our top concerns,” Litman said. “We appreciate being recognized for our efforts and are grateful to have one more tool to encourage safe driving habits.”
Toward Zero Deaths, formerly known as the Safe and Sober program, provides funds to law enforcement agencies to cover overtime costs of extra patrols during key travel periods.
Deputies watch primarily for the four key causes of traffic deaths and injuries: impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and lack of seatbelt use. In the 10 years since Toward Zero Deaths began, traffic fatalities in Minnesota have dropped significantly, from 655 deaths in 2003 to 395 in 2012.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office already owns one LiDAR unit, but the new equipment is more portable, making it easier to use. Deputies will now be trained on how to operate it and they plan to use it during future increased enforcement efforts. The unit is small enough to be used even by the sheriff’s snowmobile patrol.