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Kennebunk using community engagement to reduce speeding

Residents can pick up a 'Slow Down Kennebunk' yard sign at the Kennebunk police station and town office.

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Kennebunk officials hope to reduce speed on town roads this summer and hope residents can help them do it. The town has launched the 'Slow Down Kennebunk' campaign. Yellow yard signs have been popping up all across town in recent weeks with the hope of reminding drivers to watch their speed.

"The police department, the select board, town hall, we all get complaints," Kennebunk Select Board Chairman Blake Baldwin said  "It's probably the number one complaint."

The goal of the campaign is to create awareness of the issue of speeding in the area and gain voluntary compliance in driving the posted speed limits.

"We're a tranquil community. We are just interested in keeping things nice and slow," Baldwin said.

'Slow Down Kennebunk' yard signs are available for pick up while supplies last at the Town Clerk’s office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and at the front desk at the Kennebunk Police Station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. 

"Police departments across the state and country are kind of strapped for resources. So we're trying the best we can to get enforcement out there," Kennebunk Police Lt. Christopher Russell said. 

Russell said that with the department's current staffing levels, at times there are just three patrol officers out at once, which makes monitoring all areas where speeding is occurring a challenge. He hopes these signs help remind travelers to take it slow.

In addition to the yard signs, the police department has also installed solar-powered digital signs in areas of town where speeding is often a problem. These signs have custom messaging that is updated by the police department.

Police are also using radar technology on roads where drivers frequently speed. The department plans to analyze the data later this summer to see how effective the 'Slow Down Kennebunk' campaign is.

"They need to slow down and actually enjoy the experience of being here, and not just rush by it on the way from point A to point B," Baldwin said.

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