Authorities urge motorists to use caution this summer

Published 06/17/2007 By Kristen Swing

JOHNSON CITY - Motorists often are reminded to use caution while driving when school is in session. But local law enforcement agencies now are telling drivers to use that same caution when school is out for summer.

With kids spending more time outdoors, authorities want motorists to remember two important things while driving through neighborhoods - slow down and look up.

"If the speed limit is 25 (mph), it's 25," said Sgt. Scotty Carrier of the Johnson City Police Department. "If you hit a kid on a bicycle going faster than that, the potential to hurt them is serious."

Carrier said drivers also should be very aware when traveling through neighborhoods in case a child out playing makes a sudden move.

"It only takes a second of distraction for a tragedy to occur," he said.

To do its part in saving lives this season, the JCPD is beefing up its speed enforcement.

City officers will be running radar in neighborhoods throughout the city and will be "very strict" on speeders, Carrier said.

"If officers are not on a call, we want them on traffic enforcement," Carrier said.

Several neighborhoods will see a new fixture on streets as well.

A mobile radar trailer will be set in neighborhoods where complaints of speeding are received. The trailer will record vehicle speeds and, if it determines speeding is a problem, officers will start performing regular checks throughout that area.

"Everyone should be driving the speed limit, period," Carrier said. "But if you see one of those trailers, you know we're not far behind."

Anyone concerned about speeding motorists in a neighborhood can contact the JCPD at 434-6125.