Former city councilor sets pace with car to fight speeding
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Former City Councilor Harold Whitehouse isn’t above taking things into his own hands when he sees a problem.
Whitehouse, a longtime city resident who’s fought against speeding on city roads ever since he was appointed to the Parking and Traffic Safety Committee, decided to make himself “the self-established pace car” in Portsmouth.
“I do the actual speed limit or maybe five miles above and take the long way home so I can go all the way down South Street,” Whitehouse said Friday. “Sometime cars back up behind me but that’s OK.”
“South Street is a very dangerous road,” he added. “There’s a lot of children walking home from Little Harbour School, the middle school and the high school.”
He does the same thing when he travels on Woodbury Road or Maplewood Avenue, he said.
“There’s a lot of seniors out doing errands on those road and they’re doing the speed limit,” Whitehouse said.
After a while, he “got the idea that maybe I should do a bumper sticker,” he said.
He unveiled the 12 bumper stickers he had printed at Thursday’s Parking and Traffic Safety Committee meeting in City Hall.
Whitehouse pulled the bumper stickers out of an envelope and read one that states, “I am your pace car, I live here” to laughter from his fellow board members.
“I think this is good, I’ve done it on my own,” he said. “I hope some people take those.”
He added that he’s already talked to Police Chief Robert Merner about the bumper sticker and “he likes the idea,” Whitehouse said.
Even without the bumper stickers, Whitehouse said, his idea of being a self-appointed pace car has worked.
“It slowed traffic down, especially on South Street,” he said.
Whitehouse on Friday said he’s been working to slow speeders as long as he’s been on the committee.
“It’s mentioned all the time. People come from all different neighborhoods asking to put a patrol car there,” he said. “They can only do so much. You can’t cover every part of the city.”
But he’s hoping by placing the bumper sticker on his car and driving Portsmouth’s roads he will help slow down speeders.
“Everyone knows my little green station wagon,” Whitehouse said.