Gahanna's old speed trailer -- used to warn residents that they are pushing the 25-mph limit in their neighborhoods -- is wearing out.

Gahanna's old speed trailer -- used to warn residents that they are pushing the 25-mph limit in their neighborhoods -- is wearing out.

City police want a new one. They also want a new, less-detectable speed monitor to check, over the long term, the speeds on Gahanna streets.

This would let motorists know which neighborhoods have the worst speeding problems and where to put officers with radar guns and ticket pads.

Police were expected to ask for council approval this week to spend $12,500 from the Federal Law Enforcement Trust Fund "to buy the equipment needed to collect traffic volume and speed data and to deter speeding violations in the absence of a uniformed officer, primarily in residential areas," according to the request.

Police have been using a radar-recording device to gather traffic data from residential roadways in order to effectively respond to residents' complaints of speeding through neighborhoods.

The device records roadway data secretly to get data that accurately represents how drivers normally drive in a given area.

Police have used that data to know where to put officers to get the worst speeders. Their threshold is 80 percent of the drivers traveling at 10 miles per hour or more over the posted 25-mph speed limit.

The problem is that the current recording device captures less than 48 hours of data and cannot be deployed in cold-weather conditions. Also technical difficulties with its hardware and software components are common, often resulting in the inability to retrieve "any data whatsoever," the report stated.

Police also use a speed-monitoring trailer, mainly in residential areas, to deter speeding.

The current trailer is more than 10 years old and is frequently out of service because of a variety of technical problems. In addition, the machine can't reach out and measure speed as far away as it once did, the report stated.

Because the trailer displays the speed of both approaching and passing vehicles, it displays speeds to motorists who can't see the display, unnecessarily consuming battery power.

"Both of these devices are integral components of the division's traffic monitoring and enforcement efforts and are used to more effectively deploy uniformed assets for targeted traffic enforcement," the report stated.

The speed-monitoring trailer also helps control residential roadway speeds over extended durations, freeing up uniformed officers for other duties. Because it helps reduce speeds without the issuance of citations, it creates a positive public perception, the report attached to the request noted.

The request is to buy a radar-traffic-data recorder for $4,500. It is made by Jamar Technologies Inc. and records up to two lanes of traffic data simultaneously, including per-vehicle speeds, traffic volume and vehicle types. Speed measurements are considered accurate, with an error margin of 1 mph. It could record up to two weeks of roadway data and could be deployed in cold-weather conditions. No other readily available data recorder could be deployed over such duration and in such a range of temperature conditions, according to the report.

The second purchase, for $8,000, is to buy a new speed-monitoring trailer. The new one comes from MPH Industries.

It has a see-through design that isn't readily available from other manufacturers. It allows drivers to see pedestrians and makes it safer for use in residential areas, the report stated.

It uses approach-only radar, rejecting the speeds of passing motorists who can't see the speed display, and thus ensuring that drivers see only their speeds, extending deployment times.

It features a bright 18-inch LED display and rises to more than 8 feet for optimum viewing by distance traffic. Its radar can pick up the speed of a typical vehicle up to 1,000 feet away, and the trailer could be deployed in a range of temperature conditions.