LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Brantley’s enforcement of traffic laws not shameful

Published 2:09 pm Monday, September 22, 2014

To the Editor:

Brantley is indeed beautiful and quaint, with a major highway as its Main Street. It has come to my attention that there are a few misconceptions regarding our police department and our enforcement of traffic laws. I feel it necessary to address these misconceptions on behalf of our residents. I applaud our Police officers for the difficult job they have trying to enforce the laws, while maintaining the peace and safety of our residents.

• Hwy. 331 is a main highway and popular beach route, therefore, the majority of our traffic is from out of town. Basic probability favors the majority.

• Hwy. 331 and Hwy. 29 are state highways. The Alabama Dept. of Transportation sets the placement of speed signs and regulates the speed limits on these highways. Brantley has no control over them.

• Ticket payments are NOT due at the time the ticket is issued. The court (due) date is set 30-60 days from the issue date. One is welcome to eat a bologna sandwich, but it won’t be because of a ticket.

• The Alabama Dept. of Transportation is responsible for checking commercial vehicles, such as log trucks, semis, etc. A DOT certified state troopers are the only law enforcement officers allowed to check the weight, log books, etc. of these vehicles. Local law enforcement officers may stop a commercial vehicle for speeding or breaking other traffic rules.

• Police officers have to have probable cause to pull over a vehicle. Officers must witness erratic driving or destruction of property to have probable cause.

• Warning signs are posted on the roads coming into town. Unfortunately, drivers are distracted and fly by them. Our Police Chief sets with lights flashing as a warning to motorists to slow down. Brantley has an activated speed sign that flashes a vehicle’s speed to warn motorists, but this hasn’t deterred speeders.

• The number one contributing factor in vehicular fatalities is speed.

Our residents live with the constant concern that their family and friends could be injured or killed by speeders. Numerous pets have been killed and the drivers keep going. Cars have lost control ending up in the yards of our residents, almost to their doorways. Recently, our Police Chief ticketed a young, out of state driver coming into town. The young man was clocked at 91 miles an hour. I’m sure his parents are thankful he came home with a ticket instead of a toe-tag. Once again, I applaud our police department for enforcing the traffic laws and keeping our residents and other travelers safe. That is nothing to be ashamed of!

 

Sincerely,

Bernie Sullivan

Mayor