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Put the pedal to the metal on law

Mississippi’s law books are filled with antiquated, head-scratcher laws. Some are unusual and obscure in their very existence; others attract attention into their baffling absence or omission.

Currently, state law prohibits county sheriff’s deputies from using radar speed detection devices to enforce speed violations on county roadways.

Sheriff’s associations have lobbied for years to have the law changed to allow the use of radar.

Such a change seems not only logical, but highly needed.

Adams County residents who regularly travel the county “highways” such as Liberty Road, Kingston Road or Hutchins Landing Road (among others) know that the remote locations can bring out the inner NASCAR driver in some people.

In most cases, sheriff’s deputies are pretty powerless to do anything about speeders beyond effectively shaking their finger at them, an indistinguishable action as motorists whiz past.

One of our local legislators, Rep. Robert L. Johnson III, seems to be intent on changing the law. He introduced HB 278, which would allow the use of radar by county sheriffs in some Mississippi counties.

Unfortunately, Johnson appears to have forgotten the community he represents since his bill allows radar only from Mississippi’s largest counties, by population. Adams County’s population is far below the 95,000-citizen minimum required by Johnson’s bill.

It’s the right idea, but too restrictive.

We urge Johnson and other state lawmakers to work quickly to give sheriff deputies — in all Mississippi counties — the tools they need to protect the public from its heavy-footed element.