Waterbury police crack down on speeders

New Haven

Waterbury police are hitting the streets in an effort to respond to residents’ concerns about speeding drivers in the city.

This week, you’ll find members of the Waterbury PD Traffic Unit watching very closely on Chase Avenue — a busy road some residents complained about.

Two years ago, it was the scene of a deadly head-on crash that killed one of the drivers, Norman Roberts. Back then, News 8 spoke with one of his friends who brought flowers to a memorial for him that started to grow on the side of the road.

“Hopefully this tragedy will minimize some of the stuff that happens along this street out here,” said Maggie Bonilla.

“We try to target that enforcement based on citizen complaints, traffic data, accident data,” said Sgt. Gerald Hanson of the Waterbury Police Department’s Traffic Unit.

Related: Mother of murdered son speaks out in Hartford, Waterbury to begin gun buyback program

Sgt. Hanson says he personally clocked someone going as fast as 65 mph. The posted speed limit on Chase Ave. is 25 mph.

He handed out 20 tickets in five hours on Wednesday. The Waterbury Police Department established the Traffic Unit a year and-a-half ago to add more muscle in the battle for improved safe driving on city streets. Last year, the effort resulted in police stopping more than 1,000 cars.

“We stopped well over a thousand cars,” said Sgt. Hanson. “We towed just as many off of city streets and we’re towing those cars because they’re not registered, not insured, maybe the operator has a suspended license and they should not be on the road…..Facts of the case are if you’re driving unregistered, if you’re driving uninsured, the chances of you committing another crime — an accident or hit and run accident — are that much more prevalent.”

Right now, the crackdown is happening on Chase Avenue. Sgt. Hanson says eventually, they’ll hit all of the streets that residents are calling about.

“Everyday of the week we are out here,” he said. “It may not be on your road now, but we are addressing those problems and complaints as methodically as we can.”

He also says this effort is not about meeting some sort of quota.

“It’s strictly for compliance of the law and to avoid those tragic, terrible accidents that are unfortunate and unnecessary,” he said. 


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