Rob writes a weekly outdoors column and covers energy, environmental and nuclear issues (and lots of other topics) for the metro section. He has been an avid angler and hunter ever since he realized he had neither the aptitude nor the desire to take up golf. He has been a full-time journalist for 28 years, including 11 years as bureau chief in Columbia County. Before joining The Chronicle, he worked at newspapers in Columbia, S.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla. He has edited or authored three reference books on antique fishing tackle; and his freelance work has appeared in Field & Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal and Georgia Outdoor News. He lives in Evans.
Posted January 19, 2011 10:48 am - Updated January 20, 2011 10:48 am

A ticket to ride

How likely are you to get a speeding ticket in Columbia County? It might depend on the time of year.


I wondered recently, after seeing several cars pulled over in a single day, whether our Sheriff's Office was ramping up enforcement and writing more citations - perhaps to generate needed revenues for cash-strapped government agencies.


I emailed Capt. Steve Morris up at the department's headquarters in Appling. He assured me there is no concerted crackdown. "Our efforts remain constant," he said.


In fact, so far this month, just 69 speeding tickets have been issued. That's far short of the 254 tickets written in January of 2010, although we still have 11 days left in the month.


Based on month-by-month figures for all of 2010, the number of citations appears to rise with spring and summer temperatures - and fall drastically during the colder months of fall and winter.


Speeding tickets peaked in 2010 in April and May, with 339 and 358 citations. The lowpoint of the year was in November and December, when the department wrote 195 and 141 tickets, respectively.


Is there a pattern? Maybe.


Regardless of the month, though, there is only one surefire way to avoid a speeding ticket: obey the speed limit.


Here is a rundown of speeding tickets issued by Columbia County Sheriff's Office in 2010:

January: 254
February: 244
March: 282
April: 339
May: 358
June: 292
July: 265
August: 267
September: 230
October: 266
November: 195
December: 141