A new radar device has been turning motorists' heads in Santa Monica for the past few days. The portable Speed Controller, a digital display mounted on the roof of a parked police car, flashes "Your speed is. . . ." and the speed of each passing car. It's being used by the Santa Monica Police Department as a "strictly psychological deterrent" to speeding, said Lt. Robert Taylor.
The device will be used primarily near schools and in areas with high accident rates, such as Pacific Coast Highway and San Vicente Boulevard, Taylor said. Part of the strategy, he said, is to use the Speed Controller on a marked patrol car.
Taylor said he was "impressed with the reaction of the public" Tuesday morning, when the device was set up for the first time near Franklin Elementary School on Montana Avenue.
"I'd estimate 75% of the drivers observed the unit and made abrupt adjustments to their speed. . . . You see brake lights coming on," he said.