Neighborhood Speed Watch Program

Introduction

Neighborhood Speed Watch is a program that partners the St. Joseph Police and Public Works & Transportation Departments with neighborhood residents who want to play an active role in solving their neighborhood speeding problems. The goal of this program is to raise public awareness about the negative impacts of speeding on neighborhood streets. Speed Watch is one tool in the Neighborhood Traffic Safety Program created to improve the safety and livability of neighborhood streets.

Guidelines and Procedures

The Speed Watch Program is a volunteer-based program available to any neighborhood group or residential street in the City of St. Joseph. Volunteers assist in gathering speed and traffic information on their own neighborhood streets. (Neighborhood streets are classified as either 1) residential or 2) two-lane collector. High-volume, multiple-lane streets, as well as streets with posted speed limits over 30 miles per hour, are excluded from the Speed Watch Program.)

Rules of Conduct

  1. A minimum of two volunteers are required at all times during the speed watch.
  2. Speed watches are to be conducted only from a legally parked car.
  3. Speed watches may be conducted only during daylight hours.
  4. All traffic and pedestrian laws must be obeyed.
  5. There will be no parking allowed on any sidewalks or driveways; and no sidewalk or driveway may be blocked in any manner.
  6. Courtesy and reasonable care must be exercised at all times.
  7. Neighbors, pedestrians, and motorists may stop to ask what you are doing. Explain that you are participating in the Speed Watch program, and ask them to call the St. Joseph Police Department Traffic Unit if they have questions or objections to the program. If a confrontation arises, stop the study immediately and contact the Police Department. Do not argue, and remain calm.
  8. The public may incorrectly assume that you are a representative of the City or a law enforcement officer, or that your actions will result in them receiving a traffic citation. You must make it clear that you are volunteering as a private citizen and participant in the Neighborhood Speed Watch Program. Also make it clear that your actions will result only in a letter being mailed that encourages drivers to observe the posted speed limit.
  9. Do not make gestures or verbal comments toward passing vehicles. Do not throw objects at vehicles or drivers.
  10. Common sense must be exercised at all times.
  11. Vehicles may not be chased; nor shall any attempts be made to stop or apprehend the driver of any vehicle.
  12. Those who are not participants in the Program may not be present. Only those persons who have completed the training and executed all appropriate forms may participate in the speed watch. (A crowd of people will only draw attention to the speed watch and be counter- productive.)
  13. All data must be accurately collected and recorded.