The device is called a “speed trailer” by the manufacturer, Kustom Signals of Lenexa, Kan.
They are becoming common in a lot of places and have been used by the Bee County Sheriff’s Office lately to let motorists know that they are speeding.
The trailer has a speed limit sign, a radar speed detector and flashing numbers that show the approaching driver how fast he or she is actually moving.
Lt. Richard Cantu of the Beeville Police Department did not hesitate when Kustom Signals salesman Dan McCoin asked him where he wanted to place the trailer first.
The 1500 block of North Washington Street has gained notoriety in the last year or so.
Two men have died from injuries sustained in accidents near the Auto Zone and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts stores in that block.
Each time, the victim’s vehicle was crossing the street when a southbound vehicle coming around a bend in the road T-boned the car.
The first man hit died at the scene. The second victim never recovered from his injuries and died months later.
Cantu and McCoin said the trailer is on loan to the BPD with the possibility of a sale later.
The trailer is one of the company’s latest models with what McCoin called “all the bells and whistles.”
The salesman said he will show local officers how to set the controls so the trailer can turn off and on at predetermined times of the day and night, and record the speeds of all vehicles and the number of vehicles using the street.
Officers will be able to retrieve the information to study later.
Police Chief Joe Treviño said he hopes some of that information can assist the Texas Department of Transportation in a study the state is conducting on that stretch of street.
“There will be some changes there,” Treviño said.
McCoin said the BPD may use the trailer as long as it wants. And if the department decides to buy it, the unit will be sold as a used demo for a fraction of its cost new.
The device can be used for more than warning motorists to slow down when driving through a certain area. The information the computer stores can be used to determine whether traffic controls are needed in an area and what type of controls will work best.
The City Council can have the Traffic Safety Commission study the information and then return to the council with recommendations.
McCoin said the trailer serves two purposes.
It reminds community members to watch their speed in certain locations and informs the police if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Cantu said the device will be left at its present location and will later be moved to another site.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.