Gautier Police Slowing Down Drivers On Martin Bluff Road - - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier Police Slowing Down Drivers On Martin Bluff Road

Residents along Martin Bluff Road in Gautier have a new neighbor watching for their safety. Six weeks ago, the police department started using radar to stop speeding drivers along the busy road for the first time.

For years, Martin Bluff road was patrolled by the sheriff's department, but state law prevented officers from using radar. That all changed when Gautier annexed the area in February.

Most residents, regardless of their view about the annexation, are glad to see radar along this busy road.

Thomas Jerkins has a front yard view of speeders along Martin Bluff road. Over the last four years, Jerkins says he's seen a jump in the number of drivers speeding past his home, since the sheriff's department didn't have the authority to stop them.

"The deputies can't use radar. It would have been alright for the deputies if they could have used radar, but deputies can't use radar," Jerkins said.

But the city of Gautier can, since it annexed the Martin Bluff area six weeks ago.

"It's an every day, every night deal. We have an officer up here 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Gautier Police officer Jim Kazzell said.

The radar was turned on Feb. 24. So far the busy road is averaging about one speeding ticket a day.

Officer Kazzell believes drivers began to slow down the day Martin Bluff was annexed.

"People knew it was coming. They knew we had radar in our cars, and they pretty much slow down on their own," Kazzell said.

"I'm glad to see it, because we have needed it out here for a long time, because of the speeders out here, it's dangerous," Jerkins said.

Gautier police officers say they wrote dozens of warning tickets for days after annexation became official and just recently began writing real speeding tickets for drivers along Martin Bluff.

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