Update: Biloxi police running radar on Popp's Ferry Road

Police will move their speed limit enforcement zone closer to the area of the accident, from the bridge to the Margaret Sherry Library.
Police will move their speed limit enforcement zone closer to the area of the accident, from the bridge to the Margaret Sherry Library.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Just days after a car slammed into a house on Popp's Ferry Road,  Biloxi police are trying to get drivers to obey the Popp's Ferry speed limit.

Police spent Wednesday morning on Popp's Ferry, reminding people about the 35 mile per hour speed limit.

"We run radar on Popp's Ferry every day," Chief John Miller told WLOX News on Wednesday.

According to Miller, that radar is often near North Bay Elementary School. Today, police will move their speed limit enforcement zone closer to the area of the accident, from the bridge to the Margaret Sherry Library.  "We'll see if that makes people feel a little better," the chief said.

Biloxi Police said they are still investigating a weekend crash in which a car slammed into a home on Popp's Ferry Road. The driver told police she was forced off the road. Residents said in recent years, several houses along the heavily residential stretch have been hit and this latest incident only adds to their worry.

Jeremy Edwards and his wife are trying to pick up the broken pieces of his mother in law's home, after a car slammed into it Sunday night. Traffic on Popp's Ferry is hectic, but Edwards isn't convinced lowering the 35 mile per hour speed limit would help.

"Lowering it probably wouldn't do anything, " said Edwards. "Patrolling may help, but you'd have to have someone out here consistently. Unless you had someone out here consistently, changing the speed limit wouldn't change anything."

Chief Miller sides with Edwards.  "I really don't think the speed limit is too fast, if people would just abide by it," he said.  Miller noted, "People get aggravated.  They tend to speed."

Tire tracks show where a car left the road and traveled across two neighbors' yards before striking the home and vehicle in the driveway. A few feet to the right, and it would have been next door neighbor Dave Whitney with a car in his house for the second time in three years.

Whitney said, "They went through my house. They took out the bedroom, a den. We had to stay in a hotel for six weeks and it costs a lot of money. The speed limit is 35. That's slow enough, but you just get guys and people come through here at 45, 50, 60 miles per hour."

Some neighbors suggest more guardrails for protection, but others aren't thrilled about the idea. Everyone would like to see drivers show more respect for their neighborhood.

"Be more considerate of the people, the houses, and the residential neighborhood," Edwards said. "When you're coming around the curve the speed limit is 35 miles per hour. Do 35 miles per hour. It's not going to hurt you to slow down."

Whitney said, "I don't think we'd have any problems if they would observe the speed limit. I think 35 miles an hour is adequate, but everybody is in a hurry nowadays."

Biloxi's police chief says officers write more tickets on Popp's Ferry Road than anywhere in the city.

"Mostly a little further up than Sunkist is where the majority of tickets are written. We have written quite a few tickets from the bridge up to Sunkist," said Chief Miller.  "We certainly want the residents to feel safe. If they don't feel safe, if they feel we're not enforcing traffic there, traffic laws there well enough we can step that up. "

Chief Miller said a radar trailer was placed in the Sunkist section of Popp's Ferry for several days twice a year. In March, 420 of about 1,500 drove over the speed limit.  In May, about 160 of roughly 1,700 drivers were clocked speeding. The chief believes stronger enforcement is the reason for the decrease.

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