The Daily Sentinel

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reckless driving on Nacogdoches' blacktop and dirt county roads has drawn the attention of the commissioners court.

A deputy who exclusively patrols county-maintained roads was given a new tool to combat reckless drivers Monday when commissioners approved a budget request to purchase the deputy radar equipment.

Until now, the deputy, who patrols county roads searching for permit violations on behalf of the road and bridge department, has monitored the condition of roads traveled by large trucks.

"We've had a lot of complaints from regular citizens about big trucks and cars speeding on county roads," said Doyle Williams, road and bridge administrator. "I think it's a great help for the public, to help patrol for safety."

Every truck that weighs more than 20,000 pounds must apply for a free permit to travel county roads, and Deputy Jim Bentley enforces the permit system by video recording the condition of all roads used by the large trucks. The county will occasionally charge companies or truckers to repair damaged roads.

Because Bentley patrols county roads every day, Williams said, he is in a better position to stop speeders than other deputies. Commissioners approved the purchase of a $1,000 handheld radar device for Bentley's use.