Traffic safety tool

April 15, 2015
Oceana County Sheriff Bob Farber stands next to the new traffic safety awareness trailer acquired by the sheriff’s office through a grant from AAA for nearly $17,000.

Oceana County Sheriff Bob Farber stands next to the new traffic safety awareness trailer acquired by the sheriff’s office through a grant from AAA for nearly $17,000.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office has a brand-new $17,000 piece of equipment that makes the roads safer, and it didn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

A grant from AAA secured by Lt. Craig Mast enabled the sheriff’s office to acquire the county’s first-ever Traffic Safety Awareness Trailer, which measures and digitally displays the speeds of passing motorists among many other functions.

“It’s a wonderful tool,” said Oceana County Sheriff Bob Farber. “Craig did a great job applying for this grant. It gives us a tool to see if we need a real patrol car there.”

The trailer, which is foldable, can easily be moved to different locations. It currently sits along Fox Road past 40th Avenue in Golden Township. Its first location was on Oceana Drive just south of Polk Road in Hart Township.

The trailer, which is equipped with a camera and photographs passing vehicles, also displays messages, such as its current message, “Thank you for driving safely.” Mast is able to program the remote device from his office. “We will be using this for years to come,” he said. “It can be used to divert traffic, such as during the Oceana County Fair, and it can be used for displaying Lake Michigan wave conditions to provide warnings. It can also be used during a natural disaster to give people advice and make them aware of weather conditions,” Mast said. In the event of a large fire or traffic accident, the trailer could also be a useful tool, he said.

The trailer, which is equipped with a smart device and GPS, can assist police with developing traffic reports, Mast said. It can be used for all traffic solutions, he said.

By flashing a motorist’s speed on the display panel, the trailer is extremely effective in getting people to slow down.

In addition to the camera, the trailer is equipped with an alarm system if anyone attempts to tamper with it.

The sheriff’s department plans to share the trailer with local police departments if they need to use it, Farber said. It can also be utilized by the Oceana County Road Commission. “It’s not just specifically for enforcement,” he added.

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