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Follow Riverside police on Twitter for heads up on enforcement zones

RIVERSIDE – When Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel was tasked with finding solutions that would discourage speeding around school's and parks by the Village Board recently, he looked to California for one solution.

According to Weitzel, police departments in California have been posting where they will be enforcing speed zones on Twitter, which residents can follow and then learn where village "speed traps" will be placed that day. Weitzel told the Village Board at a meeting Thursday that a West Coast chief had told him it appeared to be working.

While it might seem counterintuitive to let speeders know ahead of time where officers will patrol, Weitzel said the end justifies the means – if it keeps people from speeding in areas near schools and parks the program is doing its job. Weitzel said he believes the program will get drivers to slow down simply by reminding police of their presence on a regular basis.

Riverside will be the first police department in Illinois to launch the program, according to Weitzel.

Residents can follow the police department on Twitter at @pdriverside to learn where the village's enforcement officers plan to target in the village Monday through Friday.

In a news release, Weitzel said he also hopes the program will connect more residents to the department Twitter and facilitate better communication with the community and encourage compliance with speed limits.

According to traffic enforcement data collected by the police department in 2013, the average motorist cited for speeding in Riverside was traveling 14.7 mph over the posted speed.

The speed limit within the village of Riverside is 25 mph, unless otherwise marked.

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