A message from Frank Koss, Chief of Police for the Hinesburg Police Department
As part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Hinesburg Police obtained a speed monitoring device that helps us determine the speed on the roads when we are not around. This device records the date, time and speed of the vehicles on monitored roads. Our volunteer takes this information and provides graphs and lists that can help us target especially unsafe and dangerous driving. What we found was startling...
The first thing that jumped out was the speed on Shelburne Falls Road, and that on several mornings and one afternoon, there was a vehicle traveling at over 80 miles per hour. Our officer went out that afternoon and cited a sixteen year old female for 88 miles per hour. The following day, the officer cited an eighteen year old male for 78 miles per hour, a seventeen year old male for 63 miles per hour and a sixteen year old female for 70 miles per hour. Additionally, an 18 year old female has been cited twice for speed. All of these were CVU students.
In addition to Shelburne Falls Rd., we have since obtained speed data on Charlotte Rd. and Pond Rd. It is clear that we have issues on all of these roads. To that end, we will be extending the education of CVU to include driving to and from school.
Our new enforcement policy is as follows. We will give you five miles per hour. This will allow for speedometer error and some downhill increase in speed until the brakes are applied. From six to ten miles per hour, a two point ticket will be issued. For junior operators, if you have a clean driving record, it will serve as a warning to you that the next ticket can result in a license suspension. Eleven miles or faster will result in a three point ticket and a 90 day license suspension. We will no longer be issuing tickets for thirty or more over the limit. The operator will be arrested, the vehicle towed and the person cited into court. To all the adults driving on these roads, you will be part of the lesson. This will be our enforcement policy on all drivers, not just teenagers. For junior operators, there will be no more meetings with the chief to attempt a reduction in points so a junior operator can still drive. If you play sports, have a job, are in the band, after school activities, or any of the other hundred reasons you need a license, the time to think about that is while you are driving to or from school.
On Shelburne Falls Rd. at 45 miles per hour, it takes 3.9 minutes to drive the 2.7 miles from the town line to Vermont Route 116. At a “lose your license” speed of 56 miles per hour, it takes 2.7 minutes. This is where the adult responsibility of driving and decision making comes in. Is it worth riding a school bus for ninety days to save a minute? Finally, at the speeds being driven, it is inevitable that there will be another serious crash. When that happens, this department will know that we did everything we could to prevent it, whether that makes us unpopular or not. For those drivers with a need for speed, it will come with a cost.