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Vidalia hopes speeding tickets will help curb wrecks

Jay Sowers | The Natchez Democrat — Motorists drive on Carter Street in Vidalia early Tuesday.
Jay Sowers | The Natchez Democrat — Motorists drive on Carter Street in Vidalia early Tuesday.

VIDALIA — Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis is hoping a crackdown on traffic violations will curb the 75 traffic accidents that have occurred within the last three months.

Lewis said his officers would begin more strictly enforcing traffic laws, such as speed limits, red lights and stop signs.

“We’ve had an unusual amount of accidents on the highway and different parts of town, and that’s from people flying down that road,” Lewis said. “We get complaints all the time for citizens saying it’s a race track out there on the highway, and we have got to stop all these accidents.”

Five accidents have already occurred in May.

“We’re going to start enforcing the law and keep people safe on these streets,” Lewis said. “It’s just not safe out there the way some people are driving.”

Previously, Lewis said his department allowed an approximate 10 to 15 mph leniency window for speeding offenses on Carter Street, where the speed limit is 35 mph.

That window of leniency, Lewis said, will soon shrink in hopes of also shrinking the number of accidents in the city.

Lewis said the goal of the extra patrol is not to set speeding traps in certain areas of the city or to generate revenue for the department.

“The speed limit is set at 35 mph for a reason, and that’s something the state sets, not us, so there’s nothing we can do but enforce the law,” Lewis said. “We’re doing this to protect our citizens.”

 

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