March 26. 2008 3:00PM

Lexington police step up speeding enforcement

The Dispatch

If you’re traveling in south Lexington, you might see your speed broadcast on a police department “radar trailer.” You might also see a Department of Transportation message board noting “residential area ahead.”

If you think the Lexington Police Department is trying to tell you something, you might be onto something.

Their message: slow down.

“Whenever we start getting citizen complaints, we’ll do traffic enforcement in those areas,” said LPD Lt. Scott Nanney. In early March, he said, the department conducted a speed study in and around the residential areas just south of downtown Lexington.

“In a four-day period we had 4,600 cars,” Nanney said. How many were speeding — that is, traveling even one mile per hour above the posted limit?

“Over half of them,” Nanney said.

In response, city police officers will increase patrol of N.C. Highway 8, Brown Street, Linwood Road and Old Linwood Road over the next few weeks. At first, Nanney said, they’ll be handing out warnings to drivers going only a few miles over the posted limit. But soon, they’ll be handing out tickets.

The stepped-up enforcement started earlier this week. Nanney said it’s normal for the police to focus on a particular area to reduce the number of speed-related collisions. Once word gets around, he said, motorists tend to ease up on the accelerator.

Nanney said the fact that the area is largely residential is central to the need for enforcement.

“We got complaints from citizens in residential areas, and that’s what we’re concerned about,” he said.

Glen Baity can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 227, or