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Luverne police see results from monitor

By: Shayla Terry

With Luverne being the center of the intersection of Highway 331 and Highway 29, speeding tends to be a problem in the area. Police Chief Mike Johnson found one way to slow everyone down — a speed monitor.

The electronic monitor has been strategically placed throughout town. It now sits on Highway 29, right as you arrive in Luverne city limits.

“It looks like it’s a good thing,” Johnson said. “We’ve had numerous complaints about speed violations and it’s slowing them down. Most all cities have them. They put them in school zones and speed areas and it helps tremendously, so we tried it out too.

Johnson says on Highway 29 where the four-lane begins, he has noticed people coming into the city going as fast as 70 mph.

“We know we won’t stop everyone, but it does help,” he said. “We’ve had less accidents because we move it around throughout the city.

The speed monitor is for everyone, Johnson says. If residents have complaints about speeding in their neighborhood, they can call the police department to request its placement in their area.

“If you wouldn’t mind, I’d gladly set it up in your front yard, “Johnson said. “The goal is to make all of the streets safer, so it will go where it is needed.”

The electronic monitor is charged overnight at the police station before it is placed. It can last at various locations for a week’s time without losing power. The monitor was previously placed on Glenwood Street, coming into the city of Luverne from the Glenwood area.

“It’s supposed to make you more aware of what’s going on around you,” Johnson said. “If you’re coming into town and you’re listening to the radio or talking on the phone, you may not be paying attention. When those blue lights go off, the brakes are hit quickly.”

With the summer bringing the influx of vacationers heading to the Florida beaches through Highway 331, Johns says he wants to ensure that the children are safe amongst the increased traffic while out of school.

“The kids are out for the summer,” he said. “The last thing I want is for a kid to roll a ball in the street and someone is coming down the road going 70 to 90 mph. That’s just too fast.”

It’s an alternative to receiving a ticket for speeding. Speeding tickets can reach upwards of more than $300 in the state of Alabama. If the Luverne city council thinks that the speed monitor is effective, they could purchase one officially for the city.

“We’re not out to write everyone a ticket,” Johnson said. “I make mistakes, you make mistakes, but if you’re blatantly breaking the law, you’ll receive a ticket.”