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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007
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Town Creek focuses on traffic

By Nancy Glasscock
nglasscock@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

TOWN CREEK — Police are cracking down on drivers who speed through school zones on Alabama 20, Town Creek Police Chief Jerry L. Garrett said Tuesday.

"It's a tremendous problem, and I'm asking for the public to pay attention and beware that it's pretty much zero tolerance from here on out," he said.

Garrett said police have issued citations recently for drivers who ran school bus stop signs and for those who've been clocked driving about 30 mph over the 25-mph school-zone speed limit.

Substantial problem

"It's a really congested area with a lot of traffic," he said.

"We can be on a traffic stop and people will still go by at 50 or 55 miles per hour. ... It seems to not be five or six (miles per hour) over the speed limit. It's 20, 25 and 30 over the speed limit."

Garrett said school bus drivers have a difficult time turning off Bradley Street because speeding drivers don't give buses clearance to make turns.

An increase in traffic along Alabama 20 has compounded the problem, he said.

"What happens is you've got one or two obeying the speed limit and 90 to 95 percent that's not, so the buses don't have enough clearance to get out onto the highway," he said.

School zone danger

"You've got bus drivers and school traffic getting impatient, and then they start taking chances."

Garrett said students from Hazlewood Elementary often walk across Alabama 20.

He said the school zone is clearly marked by two caution lights over the four-lane highway.

Garrett said one fatal wreck involving an 18-wheeler and a delivery truck occurred last year. Traffic stops have also yielded drug arrests, he said.

School zones are in effect Monday through Friday from 7-8 a.m. and from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

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