Biloxi Man Determined To Slow Speeders - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/02/02

Biloxi Man Determined To Slow Speeders

Joe Lenkowski is determined to make speeding drivers slow down. He says his ten year old daughter should be able to ride her bike without fear of getting run over.

Lenkowski lives next to Keesler Air Force base on Beverly Drive, near Biloxi's Back Bay. The posted speed limit is 15 miles an hour. But he says it's often ignored.

He's been complaining about the problem for more than a year. Joe Lenkowski has written letters, sent E-mails, attended meetings and made lots of phone calls.

He says the majority of traffic on his street is Keesler personnel. That's why he's pushing the Air Force base to take a more active role in addressing the problem.

"There's more than just one or two of them that are doing it. They do it on a daily basis. They do it every time they drive up and down this road," said Lenkowski, as he pointed to another speeding motorist.

Many drivers ignore the posted 15 mile an hour limit. Joe Lenkowski considers the problem a serious safety concern.

"My daughter, just last week almost got run over by a lady making a left hand turn. Cut her right off," he said.

Biloxi police have run radar and written tickets on Beverly Drive. That slows drivers down, but only for a few days.

Lenkowski's video camera is also a deterrent. He makes videos of the speeders.

"I can kind of see people coming from here, and I can see them coming from that way. And I can just put it up," he explained, as he focused the video camera on oncoming traffic.

Lenkowski says the majority of traffic and speeders are people from nearby Keesler Air Force base. But law enforcement on the base says the area is beyond its authority.

A statement from Keesler says "the base has no jurisdiction in the Oak Park housing area, therefore, we cannot run radar or write citations to speeders."

Lenkowski understands Keesler law enforcement can't write tickets on his street. But since much of the traffic involves those stationed at Keesler, he'd like to see a letter or memo from the commander, cautioning drivers about the speeding problem.

"I would like Keesler Air Force base upper management to please get involved. I've asked them several times, I've written several letters, the commander's hot line, I've talked with the inspector general. They know there's a problem out there. They told me that," he said.

By Steve Phillips

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