Weatherford Democrat

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May 25, 2013

Speeding a concern after police traffic survey

Weatherford police says seat belt compliance rates high in areas surveyed

Memorial Day is quickly approaching and though this day is meant to remember the men and women who died while serving our country, it also marks the beginning of summer for many of us.

With school letting out for summer break and vacations starting up, the Weatherford Police Department would like to remind our citizens to practice safe driving habits while on the road. Recently officers conducted speed and seat belt compliance surveys on three local streets: South Main, South Bowie, and Palo Pinto Streets.

Although seat belt compliance was good with an average of 94 percent of drivers wearing their seat belts and about 89 percent of front seat passengers complying with seat belt laws, speed surveys indicated a need for more driver compliance with posted speed limits.

On South Main, surveys showed just 27 percent of cars were driving at or below posted speed limits.

On South Bowie, a mere 16 percent were driving at or below posted speed limits, and on Palo Pinto Street just 31 percent of drivers were driving at or below posted speed limits.

Grant funding will allow Weatherford Police Department to have extra police patrol enforcement out through June 2 for the Memorial Day holiday period. Texas Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Program grant monies will pay overtime salaries for officers to conduct Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) activities.

STEP activities are geared to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road during holiday periods as well as enforce speed and seat belt compliance.

“We will have about 130 hours of extra patrol out during the days leading up to Memorial Day and shortly thereafter,” said Weatherford Police Capt. David Smith. “The police department encourages our citizens to be cautious of their surroundings while driving,w especially during busy holiday times when we could have more cars on the roads. Simple steps such as driving at posted speed limits, wearing your seat belts, and not drinking and driving may help to save your life as well as the lives of others on our streets.”

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