Speed bumps

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2011

Resident requests: bring back bump

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville Police Chief Tony Jones said that controversy that has arisen over the placement of new speed bumps and stop signs on city streets is spawned by the underlying problem: people are driving too fast.

 “I hate to get into people’s pocket books, but we’ve got school starting and these people are flying,” Jones said Thursday following the August 2 meeting of the Batesville mayor and aldermen where a Dogwood Lane resident presented a petition to replace a speed bump that had first been placed on the street earlier this year and then removed after protest.

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“The petition that was signed to take up the speed bump was signed by people that don’t even live on Dogwood,” Otis Johnson told city officials. “A year ago I asked for a speed bump and when we finally got it, it was removed.”

Dogwood Lane is a north/south street that connects Eureka Road with Redbud Drive in Dogwood Hills subdivision.

In his remarks to city officials, Johnson said that speeding drivers are a common sight on Dogwood Lane, which serves a residential area.

“I appreciate your point about they’re residential areas, not through streets,” Alderman Eddie Nabors told Johnson.

That is part of the problem, the police chief said.

“The speed limit (25 miles per hour) is there because it’s residential, and you’ve got people who want to fly up and down there,” Jones said. “You’ve got a cut-across; instead of going down to Woodland, they’re using Dogwood Lane,” the police chief said, to reach Highway 6 from Eureka Road.

Speeding fines in Batesville start at $132 and increase with higher speeds. The fine for running a stop sign is $170, Jones said.

The police chief said that when officers observe traffic from an unmarked car, they often observe drivers who, when they approach a stop sign, “If they don’t see a patrol car, they’ll look both ways and shoot right through it.”

Jones said that the Mississippi Rules of the Road define “Stop” as a “complete cessation of movement.”

A fine can just be the beginning of costs for a driver who is cited for a moving violation, Caldwell Insurance Agency spokesman Kim Rogers said. Many auto insurance companies charge the driver who gets a ticket for a moving violation, “significantly higher rates for three years,” she said.