Resident fed up with Saracennia Road speeders

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - "They speed up and down here all the time," said William Lott.  "I mean it could be one o'clock in the morning or four in the afternoon."

William Lott is tired of watching cars speeding through the Helena community. Especially on Saracennia Road, he says people completely ignore the 35 mph speed limit.

"I'd say the average, about 50 or 55 [mph]," he said.  "You see some of them come through here, even 18 wheelers, 60 [mph]. And they jam gears and speed up."

It's not hard to see why he's so frustrated.

"I've got grandkids living next to me. I've got great grandkids come over and visit," he said, "I've got swings out here for my kids, my grandkids, and I don't want someone to come around that curve over there, lose control, and come up here and kill someone."

It's a county-wide problem and the Sheriff's Department is doing what they can to slow down the speeders.

"Ninety percent of our accidents that we have, I can show you on paper, are speed related," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd.

He said stopping the speeders isn't as easy as it seems.

"It's hard because we have to get up behind them and pace them," he said.  "And when they see the patrol car, they're going to slow down."

Byrd said having radar could make stopping speeders a lot easier.  But that has to come from the state legislature.

"I hope that they'll realize that it's a serious problem," he said.  "If there's a sheriff in a rural county that doesn't want to run radar, that's fine. But don't take it away from the ones that need it."

Byrd said all the officers are certified to operate a radar machine. And Jackson County citizens are ready for them to be able to put their skills to use.

"If I had the money, I'd buy the first radar and give it to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department," said Lott.

Radar bills have failed in the state legislature multiple times.