Suffolk police need to crack down on speeders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 18, 2004

Editor, the News-Herald:

I continue to read about accidents on Suffolk’s roads, on which I must travel every day. The principal reason for such accidents is excessive speed.

Every time I venture out, and especially on Bridge Road, I am threatened by a host of scoff-laws exceeding the posted speed limits – yet I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have seen a vehicle stopped by a Suffolk Police person for speeding.

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Anyone who drives on the roads of North Suffolk is well aware of the speeding problem. I even saw a recent news video by a local TV station with TV reporters clocking speeders through congested areas and/or school zones. Using a hand-held radar gun, many vehicles were exceeding posted speed limits by as much as 20-25 MPH.

Breaking of the law by truck drivers is especially egregious. Virtually every Sunday morning when we drive into Churchland on Bridge Road, my husband and I are passed by at least one gasoline tractor-trailer, emblazoned with the name of an operator of several local &uot;MARTS,&uot; that is weaving in and out of traffic, passing vehicles on the right or the left, and exceeding posted limits by at least 10-15 MPH. We have called the number posted on one or two of these trucks and reported the violations, but the same thing continues to happen.

Accidents on Suffolk’s roads will continue to increase in numbers until our Police Department makes a concerted effort to halt the unbridled violation of speed limits. I know that concentrated enforcement of speed limits will slow people down. The City of Emporia’s daily enforcement of speed limits on U.S. Route 58 is a prime example of what can and should be done. Yes, Emporia has a reputation as a speed trap, but even truckers obey posted speed limits when they are within that City’s limits. Also, according to local newspaper articles, Emporia derives a large annual amount of revenue from speeding fines.

I urge the Suffolk Police Department to make a concerted effort, for as long as it takes, to curtail speeders on our highways. I’m not talking about ticketing some poor soul going 47 MPH in a 45 MPH zone, but the vehicles that regularly travel at rates of 15 miles or more above posted limits must be stopped before we are all killed or maimed. Not only would such an enforcement effort make Suffolk’s roads safer, but I strongly suspect that sufficient revenue would come in to more than pay for the invested police time.

Loretta S. Willis