The Union Recorder

July 30, 2013

School zones focus of MPD HEAT enforcement

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Traffic enforcement officers want to prepare parents and other drivers for the school kickoff rush Friday.

The Milledgeville Police Department will have officers stationed on Blandy Road from Highway 49 to Highway 22 Friday, Monday, Tuesday and next Wednesday for school traffic.  

“We are encouraging everyone to be prepared to make right turns only,” Maj. John Davis of MPD said. 

For parents with a child going to Creekside Elementary or Oak Hill Middle, MPD advises entering Blandy Road from Ga. Highway 49. Blandy Hills Elementary traffic should enter from Ga. Highway 22.  

“We will do our best to accommodate people trying to get their children to school, but we will be operating in the best interest of moving a large number of cars as quickly to their destination as possible,” Davis said. “We ask motorists to please remember that they are not the only one with somewhere to go and to be patient as well as to drive safely.”

Also, the final month of the Police HEAT initiative focuses on the county school zones, according to Sgt. Thomas Smith, traffic supervisor for MPD.

The RADAR Speed Detection Trailer currently sits on Ga. Highway 49 across from Baldwin High.

“Even though school is not in, we’ve got it set for the school zone speed limit in hopes that people will get used to seeing that speed limit and start slowing down,” Smith said.

The BHS strip location RADAR trailer placement runs through Friday’s opening day of school.

Next week, MPD starts enforcement in both Ga. Highway 49 and Blandy Road school zones.

“Once school is in for two or three weeks, we are probably going to have a couple of speed enforcement days were we are going to be hitting it really hot and heavy,” Smith said.

Starting May 1, police officers began Milledgeville HEAT, a 120-day program focused on aggressive enforcement of high speed, aggressive and distracted driving. The program ends late August.

The program is intended to reduce the number of unsafe motorists and traffic accidents.

Each month a new HEAT location was chosen from gathered data on roadways with high numbers of citizen complaints and traffic accidents. 

Previous locations included North Columbia Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the Glynn Street corridor, as well as North Jefferson Street.

Officers provide educational information on the dangers of high speed driving and the proper use of seatbelts among other safe roadway practices.  

The goal of the program is to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by speed and aggressive, impaired or distracted driving while keeping the citizens and visitors of the City of Milledgeville as safe as possible.

MPD cut the HEAT program short on North Jefferson to prepare for school starting and to give folks an idea of appropriate speed.

“People are just starting to go back to school,” Smith said. “What better way to enforce some of that stuff than to be in the school zones. We’ll do that all of August I know.”

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