March 05. 2007 1:00PM

City police target speeding

The Dispatch

Lexington police officers concluded their anti-speeding campaign on North Talbert Boulevard last week and now are focusing their efforts on South Main Street.

The high-visibility crackdown on Talbert Boulevard from Raleigh Road to East Center Street Extension netted 173 traffic citations during a two-week period, said Lexington Police Capt. Jimmy Truell.

"It was very successful," Truell said. "We noticed a big reduction in speed after posting signs and letting the public know what we were doing."

Now officers are hoping to have the same impact on South Main Street from Fifth Avenue to where the road splits at Anna Lewis Drive.

Officers have placed a mobile billboard publicizing the anti-speeding effort. In large yellow letters the flashing sign reads, "Speed Strictly Enforced ... Speed Limit 35 MPH.

"We will put it out there for about a week before we begin saturating the area," Truell said.

Officers conducted a week-long traffic study on the 1.7-mile stretch of road and found the average speed of motorists was well above the posted 35-mph speed limit.

"There are a lot of intersections and a lot of businesses in that area, which can make speeding very dangerous," Truell said.

The area on South Main Street also has seen its share of wrecks.

"Most of the contributing factors in the crashes that occur are failing to reduce speed, failing to yield a right of way and improper backing, which is common in parking lots," Truell said.

Improper lane changes also contribute to many traffic wrecks in the city, he said.

A large mobile radar trailer will be flashing actual speeds of passing motorists. Truell said the device is an effective tool to make people aware of their actual speed.

The continuing anti-speeding effort will move from one location in the city to the next, lasting a week or two in each area.

"We just want people to slow down and be more aware of the speed limits," Truell said.

Sean Jarem can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 228 or at