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LMPD to use "speed machines" to target problem areas in Metro

LMPD will be using a new tool to catch speeders within the Metro.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- You may notice a new LMPD “speed machine” in your neighborhood. The machines have radars and cameras inside them.

Officers will be able to monitor traffic and traffic patterns without actually being on the street.

You won't be getting a ticket if the camera catches you but that violation could be the reason you see more officers on your street.

LMPD Major Jamey Schwab said, "It allows us to collect data on how many cars are going by it. We get averages on the speeds. We can even see how many cars slow down when they come within range of the speed machine. So that really gives us usable data and lets us know if it’s making a difference in the location where we have it placed."

The speed machines were purchased by the Metro Council minority caucus. The Republicans paid $80,000 to bring in nine new machines.

Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet said, "It will give us a lot of really great, real-time information about how we can address these speeding concerns and that safety issue within their community."

What it won't do is collect your personal information.

Strict Kentucky laws prohibit officers from ticketing drivers unless they see the violation first hand.

So you won't get a ticket in the mail with your picture on it but you may see an extra officer on the street if the violations keep happening.

"We're able to put one of these machines out, collect the data and then deploy our resources appropriately. We know where the speeding is occurring and we know where we need to go to focus our enforcement efforts," Schwab said.

This week, the solar panel powered machines will sit in school zones warning drivers to slow down around students.

But in the coming weeks, the machines will find new homes. LMPD plans to deploy them in the city's most problematic speed zones.

►Contact reporter Shay McAlister at smcalister@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@WHAS11Shay) and Facebook.

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