Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make Madison County Roads Safer...

I get tons of complaints about speeding on County roads and neighborhood streets. However, Sheriff Toby Trobridge and his deputies have to fight the battle to keep us safe without the use of radar. We are a highly urbanized county with neighborhoods that are exactly like those in the cities where the police have the tools to keep the citizens safe.
Help prevent future potential "thrill hill" accidents... If you would like to involve your neighborhood in a campaign to obtain this capability for our Sheriff's Department, I've created a document with contact info and maps so you know who your State Representative and Senator are.
It is complex since we have 8 members of the State Legislature and 4 members of the Senate representing the interest of Madison County citizens at the State Capitol. Sadly, few know who our State Representatives and Senators are.
Take a moment and let them know that you are interested in what they are doing to help make you and your family safer by providing radar to our local sheriff.

Representative Mark Baker (R) Dist 74

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mississippi Senate OKs expanded use of speed radar
03/10/2008 - 9:02:42 am

An effort to expand the use of radar by sheriff’s deputies in Mississippi is halfway through the statehouse.

State law now restricts the use of speed radar detection equipment to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, city police departments and the Lowndes County sheriff’s department. Cities with populations of fewer than 2,000 are prohibited from using radar on their public streets at all and cities with populations of more than 15,000 can use radar only on federal highways within their boundaries.

Efforts to expand radar use in the state historically have struggled as opponents say the enforcement tool could be used to set up speed traps and rake in revenue from tickets. Supporters say the use of radar would help curb speeding and save lives in places where the population is growing outside city limits.

Several more bills have been offered this year to make changes to speed radar rules. Most of the bills have failed to meet deadlines to advance, but the Senate voted 31-19 to approve a bill that would give county sheriffs the green light to use radar detection devices. It now moves to the House.

Sponsored by Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, the measure – SB2206 – would allow sheriffs in all counties to use radar on roads under the jurisdiction of the board of supervisors for maintenance and construction. Sheriffs could use the devices only on public streets, roads and highways of the county lying outside the limits of municipalities.

Another bill that is still active would expand speed radar use only enough to allow the sheriff in Rankin County access to the equipment. The measure – HB571 – is in the House Local and Private Legislation Committee.

Among the failed efforts to expand access to speed radar this year were bills that sought to change the population thresholds for cities to use the detection devices. Other proposals for radar use would have allowed sheriffs in specific counties to use radar.

Another bill would have authorized the Mississippi Department of Transportation to use radar on state highways to enforce speed limits solely on large trucks. It called for permitting the agency’s law enforcement officers to track speeds of commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.

One other effort would have placed additional limits on some speed enforcement. The bill – HB88 – sought to prohibit the use of radar on state or federal highways within 1,000 feet of where the posted limit is reduced by 10 mph or more.

Anonymous said...

WLOX-TV Editorial
Let Sheriff's Departments Use Radar

Posted: March 12, 2008 06:00 PM

In recent weeks there have been a number of fatal auto accidents in rural Hancock County. While it is hard to pinpoint an exact cause, speed probably was one of the contributing factors.

In Mississippi sheriff departments are not allowed to use radar to control speed on our rural roads. The only way a sheriff deputy can give a speeding ticket is to get right behind a vehicle and clock the speed of the driver.

For years sheriff departments across the state have asked the state legislature to allow them to use radar, but they have been denied time after time. The reason given is the belief that some departments will set up radar traps as a way to fatten their budgets. But since any money collected from fines would go into the general fund and not the sheriff's budget we don't think that argument is valid.

In South Mississippi, especially after Katrina, we have more and more residents moving north into rural areas. Roads that were once traveled by only a few people now have hundreds, if not thousands, traveling on them every day.

We think it is time for the state legislature to give the sheriff departments the additional tool to make our roads safer here in South Mississippi as well as across our state. If we don't, then we fear we will see even more loss of life on our rural roads.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager

Tena said...

It was indeed a pleasure to speak with you this morning about the problems of speeding cars and loud mufflers on Stribling Road.

I called the sheriffs office after I talked with you and he told me exactly the same thing you did. He did say he would send someone out to monitor the situation, but if he can't write a ticket for a violation, why even go out there? I am very disturbed that a lawbreaker cannot be issued a ticket or citation. It's like telling the public "Go ahead, drive as fast as you want and make all the noise you want, we do not care." It makes me think we are going backwards...anything goes. Where are the laws that protect us and make life more comfortable. As I write this, two cars just went past my house, racing, going at least 70 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone. I have lived here one month and I'm about ready to pull up stakes.

If you have the addresses of the lawmakers that I should write, I will do that and anything else that you feel would help the cause.

Rick Mills said...

I support the use of radar by the Madison County sheriff's department in order to more effectively enforce motor vehicle speed laws. I also support the use of cameras at intersections in order to stop the indiscriminate running of red trafficl signals. In fact it would appear that there are far more traffic violations and subsequent accidents at intersections than on open roads. However,until the traffic safety departments take a more aggressive stance on reckless and high speed drivers that occur during rush hour and high density traffic times the use of radar alone will probably not improve traffic and accident safety significantly.
Rick Mills, Madison

Jeff Carron said...

It is ludicrous for a state government to keep local law enforcement from effectively enforcing the laws.

If folks are so worried about sheriffs making money off of speed traps, here's a solution: take away their financial incentive.

Let them have 5 or 10 bucks for overhead and put the rest of the fine into the state trauma fund. Problem solved.