Vandalia Police use “black boxes” to help make neighborhoods safer

VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Vandalia Police are using new technology that could make it safer for you the next time you’re behind the wheel.

They’re called “black boxes” and they’re able to do everything from counting cars to recording speeds to analyzing traffic data.

Now, there’s a neighborhood in Vandalia that has one. Unlike traffic cameras, they’re not able to take any kind of pictures or video.

Their main function is to record the number of cars passing by, their speed and the time of day. Right now, they just have one, but they’re hoping to get more soon.

Police say they use the calculations to base when and where they should increase their enforcement.

“What we do is we first analyze it and see if there is a speeding problem through there and then we will reach out to our patrol saying ‘hey, we’ve had a complaint or a concern from a citizen as well as there is a need for speed enforcement,” Vandalia Police Crime Prevention Officer Doug Nagel said. “Throughout the different months we have areas our officers need to go and check.”

The boxes cost around $4,000. They were paid for through the department’s general operating fund. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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