Police On Both Sides Of Biloxi Bay Bridge Cracking Down On Speeding

BILOXI/OCEAN SPRINGS (WLOX) -- With radar gun aimed, Lieutenant Buckey Harris is taking down speeders on the Ocean Springs side of the new Biloxi Bay Bridge. Harris says speeds topping 20 miles over the limit are now a common sight on the bridge.

"When the old bridge was up, the average speed would be 60 miles per hour. But now, we're looking at speeds anywhere from 70 to 80 miles per hour," said Harris.

In Biloxi, it's the same story.

"They're doing a lot higher speeds, and we've got them doing 80 miles an hour on the radars," said Darrell Montiforte, Biloxi Police Department Traffic Supervisor.

Montiforte says for some drivers, more lanes means more space to speed.

"They have a lot more room to get around vehicles going slowly and doing the speed limit.  They feel free to go ahead and start speeding," says Montiforte.

On the Ocean Springs side, Lieutenant Harris said his traffic division has written about 3,000 tickets from the bridge to Washington Avenue in the past three months. That's a 30 percent increase from this time last year.

Police say drivers can expect to see more radar on both sides of the bridge. The two departments also plan to run simultaneous radar details in the near future.

But, officers say it's going to take more than radar to keep drivers safe. It's going to take drivers making smarter choices when it comes to speeding.

"Because it has six lanes, it does not give you an opportunity to go ahead and do the speed limit you want to do," said Montiforte.

"The posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour. So if you don't want to see the blue lights behind you, keep it at that speed," said Harris.