Originally created 12/09/96

Defends Grovetown traffic charge



Re Steve Morris' grumbles about a "Grovetown Toll Booth" (letter, Dec. 5):

Your readers should recognize they have heard only one side of the story - the grumble, grumble side.

Mr. Morris was stopped at approximately 11:15 p.m. by a Grovetown Department of Public Safety officer after being clocked by radar traveling at 55 mph in a 35 mph section of Harlem-Grovetown Road close to a traffic light at a major intersection (at Wrightsboro Road). This section of Harlem-Grovetown Road mentioned by Mr. Morris contains several major businesses on both sides of the road flanked by homes. ...

The department's accident experience in this area over the last six month period shows that speed is a major cause (of) collisions. We practice selective traffic enforcement in accident-prone areas. Any vehicle traveling 55 mph in a congested business/residential area is extremely dangerous, and the driver should be cited.

Grovetown, like all cities, is required to post the proper speed and warning signs, and these are in existence on Harlem-Grovetown Road. Most safe drivers recognize the need to slow down when entering any city limits and would not try to rationalize having to slam on brakes and slide their wheels to maintain a safe and prudent speed. The business-owners and homeowners are concerned about speeders and potential accidents in this area, and have requested our assistance in controlling this problem.

We regret that Mr. Morris had an unpleasant experience but we intend to reduce the causes of traffic accidents in this area through selective traffic enforcement operations.

Our purpose is not to harass the public, but to keep the public and our citizens safe.

Also, I believe that Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle would focus his deputies' efforts on major traffic problems just as we have done so in Grovetown. Any credible law enforcement organization responds to accident-prone locations within their jurisdictions promptly and efficiently.

John R. Tomberlin, Grovetown

(Editor's note: The writer is Grovetown's director of public safety.)