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 hopes speeding tickets will help curb wrecks

Published 12:03am Wednesday, May 8, 2013

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.”


  • Anonymous

    What about the school buses and vehicles that use Morgantown road for a race track,they still haven,t slowed down. Making 65-70 in mornings, Slow down for the curves they will take you out. I cannot believe how fast they travel down Morgantown,passing on a double yellow line is the norm out there.

  • suzee981

    It’s bad out here in Monterey too. My kids’ bus driver just flies down the road. I’ve complained to the school board, the Durham bus service, etc, but they so far haven’t done jack about it!

  • ..Milteer..

    People exit the bridge at 35 – 55 MPH. A large speed sign is needed on the end of the bridge. The small 35 MPH sign on the right just past the bridge is hard to see and the one further up on the right blends in with everything. Mayor Copeland was e-mail about this two or three years ago.

  • Anonymous

    Poor Arthur, caught between a rock and a hard place again. People rage that traffic accidents must be stopped and other people rage that Vidalia will become a speed trap city like Ferriday. On top of that, good luck collecting the fines from some people. Natchez hasn’t had any luck. While your at it Arthur, why don’t you write the speeders up for no registration, expired tags, no insurance, expired inspection sticker, etc. Whenever i’m in town i see vehicle after vehicle with expired tags or no tags, especially in Natchez.

  • Anonymous

    My experience has been that 90% of the drivers slow down to 35-40 mph. I’m not convinced that speed is the root problem here. How about we get people to put the cell phones down, no texting, talking, etc. Too many people are just GLUED to that phone the whole time they are behind the wheel.
    And while we are at it, in the last 2 days I have seen 5 people run the red light in front of the hospital in Natchez. And I do mean run it, the light is already red when they enter the intersection. Natchez Police need to pay attention here, this is a deadly intersection!

  • http://twitter.com/keepfreshalive Reshon ايفانز

    Vidalia isn’t becoming a Speed Trap; it has been one for decades. Chief Arthur stated
    that accidents have occurred along the same stretch of highway but in different
    parts of town and alluded to the cause being speeding. I have another probable
    cause, How about the abnormal amount of Traffic Lights along U.S 425? Every
    time a motorist is required to come to a complete stop and accelerate from an
    idle position, it increases the chance of an accident. If speed really is the issue, which I’m
    sure the city of Vidalia will conclude since it will earn thousands more in
    revenue for the department, How about Vidalia invest in Speed Cameras rather
    then increase traffic patrol?

  • Fred

    That a good idea Speed cameras are need in the miss lou area like some of the other areas in state of Louisiana and Mississippi.

  • Anonymous

    Speed isn’t the issue and never has been. Most accidents occur below posted speed limits. The cause is always the same. Human error. Why all the accidents? Pretty much all motorists know how to operate a vehicle. Very few know how to DRIVE.