Posted by Melissa Moon
Mississippi Lawmakers Consider Speed Radar for Deputies

Memphis - The Desoto County Sheriff's Department says it knows how to make roads safer in the growing county,, it just needs help from Mississippi lawmakers. The legislature is considering allowing sheriff's deputies in the state to begin using speed radar.

In Desoto County sheriff's deputies on patrol must rely on their eyes and speedometer to catch speeding motorists. Deputies say that's easy to do if a motorist is driving several miles over the speed limit or in the same direction. But since department isn't allowed to use radar they can't catch everyone.

"With he use of radar you at least got that tool to confirm the officer's observations," said Commander David Mitchell.

Sheriff's departments in Mississippi are asking lawmaker to let them begin using radar. They say not only will it slow down drivers, but allow them to make more traffic stops where many fugitives are caught and brought to justice.

"One thing we think of as we are traveling this road is how many times have we missed a wanted felon from another jurisdiction," said Mitchell.

This isn't the first time Mississippi lawmakers have considered allowing sheriff's deputies to use speed radar. One reason it hasn't passed is because some feared the radar might be abused and used simply as a money making tool. But deputies say it's a tool if used properly would save lives. Motorists we talked to agree.

"I run down a road here and people go about 80 miles an hour. There is nothing they can do about it right now," said Charlie Menne.

Deputies say if motorists were driving more cautiously it would make the roads safer for everyone.

If passed the new law would allow sheriff's departments in large counties to begin using radar.