Mayor Jack Scott brought up the problem during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Scott estimated that cars regularly pass by City Hall traveling 50 miles per hour, and council member Bradley Grace added that he has witnessed drivers running stop signs and redlights as well.
“We’re going to have to get tough on this or somebody is going to get killed. It’s out of control,” Scott said.
Bobo said his officers are doing what they can but are somewhat handicapped by a decade-old fair pursuit clause in the department’s policies and procedures manual.
“Basically, we give everybody a 15 mile per hour window,” Bobo said. “State law says that if the speed limit is 45 and you’re doing 46, then we can write somebody a $246 ticket. That’s not really fair, so we give them that leeway.”
Bobo also pointed out that although the speed limit in areas of the city where speeding is occuring is 25 mph, there are no signs posted. State law says that the speed limit on unmarked roads is 35 mph.
“So if you figure in state law’s 35 mph speed zone and then add 15 miles to that for our policy, they would have to be travelling 50 mph or more before we could write them a ticket,” Bobo said.
Bobo added that he would prefer to continue enforcing his department’s policy and to address the problem of speeding with more speed limit signs.