TPD tightens up on

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

enforcement of speed limits


Staff Writer

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Dec. 13, 2000 10 PM

Anyone who wants to put the pedal to the metal might not want to do it in the Troy city limits.

Officers with the Troy Police Department have increased their efforts to stop speeders because of an increasing number of complaints.

"It concerns me that we have to take more aggressive steps to address the problem of speeders in our city," Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said.

In October, residents of Second Avenue addressed the Troy City Council regarding problems with speeding in their neighborhood and the complaints haven’t stopped.

Nell Hanson, who has lived on Second Avenue for over 40 years called the roadway "a speedway over to George Wallace Drive."

At that time Councilman Jason Reeves, who represents that district, said the city would work to find a solution to the problem.

"You have our attention and we’re going to focus like a laser beam on the problem," Council President John Witherington told the residents at that time.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and council members have asked Everage to step up traffic enforcement efforts because of the growing number of complaints.

Lunsford said there have been times when drivers were clocked at 75 miles per hour on George Wallace Drive.

"It’s quite obvious that particular area is not the only area," Lunsford said of the problem.

He said the purpose of traffic control is to move traffic safely through the city and hopes the police department’s efforts will cut the "ridiculous" speeds at which people are traveling.

In an effort to do that, the council has approved overtime for officers to work traffic detail so it will not interfere with their patrol duties.

"As we looked for a solution to this problem it became very clear and simple. We as citizens have a duty to obey the law," Everage said.

He said his department will "take some steps" to stop and ticket individuals for speeding, but officers can not do it all.

"As our city continues to grow, we will be forced to deal with many problems that are, basically, out of our control," Everage said. "We will continue to have to deal with the problems of drug and violent crime" in addition to the ones involving traffic.

One thing the department will do is utilize one of its own who is trained to do in-house certification for using radars and purchase new radars, Everage said.

The police chief would also like to purchase portable signs which tell drivers their speed.

"I don’t think a lot of people realize how fast they’re going," Everage said.

Plans for conducting a traffic study are also in the works. Those studies involve a cable being set up across roadways that will register speeds and peak driving times without drivers being inconvenienced.

Everage said his department has focused energy, in recent months, on U.S. 231 for speeding and drivers running red lights.

"I think we’ve slowed the traffic down some on 231," Everage said.

While some residents may call the police department’s efforts a way to make a buck, that is not so, according to the chief.

"There’s no profit in writing tickets," he said. "It would suit me if we never had to write another citation in the city of Troy."

He said catching speeders is about the public’s safety.

"People are just going to have to start slowing down," Everage said, adding this is a time of the year when more people are traveling on the area’s roadways.