The Clinton Police Department is stepping up and taking a stand when it comes to the safety of the citizens and those traveling the city’s roads.
For the last few months, the department has initiated speed studies in 12 locations throughout the city. Speeds have been registered through a radar trailer that has been placed in high traffic areas of the studied street. Based on the data collected from the studies, Clinton Police Chief Jay Tilley said changes have been made and concerns are being addressed.
“The majority of the speed studies are based on citizen concerns on traffic in their neighborhood,” Tilley stated. “Some of the other speed studies are police initiated to understand traffic problems and speed issues which determine our enforcement efforts.”
According to Tilley, the department has obtained data from 12 locations in the city. Based on the review of the data, four of the speed surveys have been forwarded to City Manager Shawn Purvis to review and present to the Clinton City Council members.
Tilley shared that data was obtained from Coharie Drive, Ferrell Street, Park Avenue, Kerr Street, Railroad Street, Lafayette Street, Sampson Street, Stewart Avenue, Sunset Avenue, Chestnut Street, and Underwood Street. The data from Railroad and Chestnut streets is being reviewed.
“It is important that the police department address citizen concerns and develop a traffic enforcement program that reduces collisions and personal injuries,” Tilley said. “The radar trailer has been a great tool that allows us to get to the root of a traffic issue and direct our resources to correct the problem.”
Officers would agree.
“The speed trailer has been a great tool for us,” police captain Donald Edwards said. “It is another resource we have, not only to address specific citizen concerns, but to help increase speed awareness throughout the city.”
As a result of the studies, Tilley said there have been several changes made or changes are in the process of being made. To address the problem in the area of Sunset Avenue School, the speed limit on Kerr Street was reduced and a four-way stop sign was erected at the intersection of Herring and Kerr streets. Additional markings were also placed in the area.
“The Coharie Country Club area is receiving additional signage and the Department of Transportation has been contacted to reduce the speed limit on that street,” Tilley expressed. “Education and additional enforcement are in the plans for these areas.”
According to the chief, the department is developing a monthly traffic enforcement plan. The operations commander will be reviewing the data from the traffic collisions and the radar trailer and directing uniform officers to heavily enforce traffic laws in the city’s problem areas.
“Another use for the trailer will be a reminder of speed limits,” Tilley said. “The trailer is equipped with flashing blue lights and they are activated when a vehicle exceeds the speed limit. This will help on streets like Sunset Avenue, which is four lanes, but has a speed limit of 35. The four traffic lanes encourage faster speeds but the commercial district traffic requires lower speeds for safety. The flashing speed and blue lights help slow vehicles down.”
The primary goal of the traffic program is to protect life and property through the reduction of traffic collisions and achieve voluntary compliance, with focus on education, enforcement, and efficient allocation of personnel. The radar trailer, according to Tilley, and its data, will aid in achieving this goal.
While police department employees do expect speeding violations, some traffic concerns were a surprise to Tilley and his officers.
“Kerr Street was a surprise, because we were only considering traffic turning from Sunset Avenue,” Tilley explained. “The speeds of those vehicles were well under the speed limit. Vehicles coming from the other direction were traveling at the speed limit but that was too fast due to the school children crossing the street from the school to the playground. The radar trailer data was able to point this out.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.