Streets of Speed - Speedzapper holds county leaders accountable
Fireworks back at the start of the New Year.
"Watch that car right there," the Speedzapper said. "Boom!"
The January zapping on Alberta Road between Raul Longoria and I Road, north of San Juan, netted several firsts.
"Congratulations... You're the first person to be zapped in 2012 for speeding," the Speedzapper said.
The worst excuse of the year was recorded.
"I try to go fast because of the speed bumps... Cause it feels like it's going slower," the driver said.
And the first promise to bring safeguards came from Hidalgo County Precinct 4 leaders.
Speedzapper: "Here we are nearly 3 months later... What's been done?"
Commissioner: "Ryan what the precinct office has done... We are committed to solving this problem."
Commissioner Joseph Palacios says he immediately launched a traffic improvement study following our Streets of Speed report.
Those results are what will lead to change, according to Palacios.
Speedzapper: "List some of the changes to come?"
Commissioner: "We're gonna put the 'Children at Play' signs up... The rumble strips with the reflective signs on them will be installed... We're gonna add some speed signs as well."
The changes don't end there.
"The reason you were stopped miss is because of your speed... It' s a 30 mile per hour zone," a deputy constable said to a speeder.
The county plans to add up to 3 new deputy constables for patrol.
Constable Eddie Guerra believes the additional manpower, coupled with the speed deterrent measures, will be a win-win for everyone in the quest to slow down speeders.
Speedzapper: "Are you surprised to hear the kind of results that we're getting?"
Constable: "I applaud you Ryan... For bringing this area to our attention... Along with the commission... We're going to use this area as an example to get more deputies."
People who live along Alberta Road say they're glad to hear their voices are finally being heard.
Tiffany Garcia, who's a mother of 4, says she's been fearful living along the street for too long.
"It's nice to know... It's excellent... It's nice to know they're doing the change finally."
Commissioner Palacios credits Streets of Speed with helping his office and other county agencies to identify problem areas with speeders.
"Ryan, I love the program," he said. "I encourage it everyday... If we can find out issues everyday... It makes me happy because at the end of the day we're gonna find solutions to those problems."
It's a positive reflection when the county and community join forces to tell speeders one thing: "You've been zapped!"