WILTON — The Wilton Board of Selectperson voted unanimously Tuesday to accept $10,462 in grant funding from the Maine Department of Public Safety for highway safety. The town had previously accepted the grant in 2022 and 2017, according to Wilton Chief of Police Ethan Kyes.

According to Kyes, the town is responsible for $2,000 of the grant and it will provide the department a radar for their newest cruiser along with other expanses. He added that the Select Board has until September of 2024 to utilize the grant funding.

Selectperson David Levitt asked if Kyes had any particular location they would put their focus on, to which Kyes stated they would primarily be watching Route 2 to reduce traffic violations.

“I’d say probably 70% of the cars that we stopped for the speed details are on Route 2,” Kyes said. “It’s easiest [location] to get the numbers we need.”

Selectperson Mike Wells asked about the accident rate at the intersection of Route 2 and State Route 156, which is the location of Steve’s Family Market, and if speed was a factor in those accidents.

“How many of those are caused by speed,” Wells asked, “or are they caused by people not respecting the right of way or not understanding right-of-way rules?”


“I would say most of it is failing to yield the right-the-way, if I had to guess,” Kyes stated off the top of his head. “I would say probably 50% of it is failing to yield, 30% is speed and then 20% just not paying attention or something like that.”

Kyes added, “I will say that when they changed the traffic pattern, it became more confusing for people.”

Kyes went on to say that Maine Department of Transportation is looking into adding a traffic signal at the intersection, which he is adamant against.

“I think that’s an even worse idea,” he stated. “I think that’s going to cause more issues with tractor trailer trucks trying to stop at the bottom of the hill at a stoplight or trying to make the run up the hill in winter on a stoplight. They’re not going to be able to do it, and it’s going to cause more accidents in my opinion.”

Wells agreed and asked if the topic could be made an agenda item for a future meeting. Town Manager Maria Greeley stated it was possible and she was going to wait for Public Works Forman John Masse to return from vacation to discuss the topic in further detail.

Kyes added that more data on crashes needs to be factored in before such a move could be made. “It might not be because of speed or something like that, it could be simply user error or someone had a hard time going down the road or medical issue. That doesn’t get factored in their data.”

He continued, “With our crash reports, they’re not that detailed. They’re just a quick paragraph of what happened. So, I don’t think sometimes they have all the data with their decision on this, with what they presented to us last year around this time.”

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