Enforcement of posted speed limits in Clintonville is being stepped up after complaints from residents who say motorists consistently drive too fast through town.
Conversations on speed limit enforcement were noted at two recent meetings regarding the reconstruction of North Main Street. Some residents complained that cars are going 5 to 15 miles per hour faster than the posted speed limits. Many expressed their concern for safety of motorists and pedestrians alike. Loud noises and strong vibrations from larger vehicles speeding across bumps and potholes were said to be strong enough to shake windows and rattle decor inside some residents’ homes.
Police Chief Terry Lorge was in attendance at both meetings and said the frustrations of these residents was heard loud and clear.
“The people spoke and said they wanted more enforcement,” Lorge said. “In turn, I issued a memo to the officers to step it up and become more visible. If that’s what people want, then that’s what we’ll do.”
Lorge said he directed his officers to focus on four main areas in the city: North Main Street, South Main Street, North 12th Street, and 7th Street.
Clintonville Police Department records show a total of 60 speed-related citations have been issued between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year. They are categorized as follows:
• Unreasonable and imprudent speed: 1
• Driving too fast for conditions: 1
• Speeding in school zones: 2
• Speeding on a city highway: 11
• Speeding in 55 MPH zone: 1
• Exceeding speed zones/posted limits: 44
Data released by the department also shows that six speed-related citations were issued in April, and a total of 102 speed-related citations were issued in 2011.
Lorge said it is sometimes difficult to have officers on patrol for speed violations.
“Sometimes, officers are busy doing follow-ups on criminal cases. The activity is such that we deal with the more significant things first. We don’t have as much time for patrol as we used to,” said Lorge. “Limited time and resources have forced us to change our priorities. We’ve been short one full-time officer since 2003, when a position was eliminated due to budget constraints.
“In the past, we have considered having one officer who is solely devoted to traffic-related enforcement, but it wasn’t financially possible,” continued Lorge. “We do see a lot of traffic for a small town because we have a state and US highway going through our town. We try to do the best we can, but it’s not always easy.”