Let Sheriff's Departments Use Radar

In recent weeks there have been a number of fatal auto accidents in rural Hancock County. While it is hard to pinpoint an exact cause, speed probably was one of the contributing factors.

In Mississippi sheriff departments are not allowed to use radar to control speed on our rural roads. The only way a sheriff deputy can give a speeding ticket is to get right behind a vehicle and clock the speed of the driver.

For years sheriff departments across the state have asked the state legislature to allow them to use radar, but they have been denied time after time. The reason given is the belief that some departments will set up radar traps as a way to fatten their budgets. But since any money collected from fines would go into the general fund and not the sheriff's budget we don't think that argument is valid.

In South Mississippi, especially after Katrina, we have more and more residents moving north into rural areas. Roads that were once traveled by only a few people now have hundreds, if not thousands, traveling on them every day.

We think it is time for the state legislature to give the sheriff departments the additional tool to make our roads safer here in South Mississippi as well as across our state. If we don't, then we fear we will see even more loss of life on our rural roads.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV Station Manager