Speeders busted on Albany streets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: Speed Busters

Speeders busted on Albany streets

July 14, 2003

(Albany) - It seems everyone's in a hurry these days, and it's evident on our streets. Speeding is a problem. Lots of drivers disregard speed limits and endanger lives, especially on residential streets.

So we decided to do something about it. We took our radar gun to the streets of Albany in Speed Busters.

The excuses are plentiful. "I'm just trying, I've got an emergency."

So are the apologies. "Our radar back there clocked you doing 47. 'Okay.' Do you know what the speed limit is on this street? 'No.' It's 30. 'Oh, okay. Sorry about that.'"

Drivers speed through Albany neighborhoods. "Ma'am, did you know you were going 49 miles per hour in this 35 mile per hour zone? 'No.' Do you always speed? 'No.'

We set up our radar on North Doublegate Drive. "People come through here and they hit this stop sign and they're just slamming on brakes," says Wanda Widener.

It's a residential area where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour.

"I think people do probably about 55 or 60 on this road, for the most part," she says.

So we took our radar gun to that neighborhood and, guess what? No one was driving 35. Car after car sped by our radar gun.

"I usually go, probably in the mornings going to work, I probably do go by that speed, that you just clocked me at, about 55, if that's what you clocked me at."

"We clocked you doing 49. 'Oh, you did? You've got a radar, huh?'"

"We clocked you back there going 51 miles per hour. 'Oh, for real? Oh, I'm sorry then.'"

And it's the same story on the other side of town. This is Pearce Avenue in front of Dougherty High School where the speed limit is only 30.

One woman was driving 42. "Are you in a hurry? 'No, no.' Do you typically speed? 'Yes, I do, yes I do.' Do you ever get caught by the police? 'Only once, doing 68 in a 45.'"

"People socially accept that it's okay to speed," says Albany Police Sergeant Leonard Bell. But it's not okay, especially in neighborhoods where children play.

"No regard whatsoever, for these kids up and down on this road, on North Doublegate," says Widener.

"For every five or ten miles over the limit that they are going, it's going to actually increase the amount of distance that it's going to take them to stop," says Sergeant Bell.

No regard for the kids or the speed limit signs. Many of the speeders we caught said they didn't even know the speed limit on the street.

"Our radar back there clocked you doing 44. 'Okay.' Do you know what the speed limit is on this street? 'No.' It's 30. 'Okay.'"

"We clocked you back there doing 52. Do you know what the speed limit is on this street? 'Uh, 45?' 35. 'Sorry.'"

"It is the drivers' responsibility to pay attention to the speed limits posted and know what those limits are," says Sergeant Bell.

Know and follow the limits, no excuses, no apologies.

"I'll slow down now since everybody knows my face."

Just a promise to slow down.

Almost all of us are guilty of speeding, so we're not out there to pick on anybody. We just want to raise awareness about speeding through residential areas. We want to make Albany's streets safer.

If you have a problem with speeders on your street, e-mail us or call us at (229) 446-9252 and we'll bring our radar gun to your neighborhood.

posted at 3:57PM by dawnh@walb.com