Extra Traffic Patrols In The Works

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Watch out speeders and red-light runners. For the next six weeks, the Payson Police Department is beefing up traffic enforcement efforts.

"We got a grant from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety that will pay for overtime for officers working traffic details," Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said.

On various days and times throughout the coming weeks, additional officers will be focused on traffic violations.

"Our problem areas continue to be the stoplights, especially the turn signals and school zones," Engler said. "Those are the areas we are concentrating on."

Two weeks ago, officers issued 17 citations in school zones within a four-hour period.

"We made 29 stops total," Engler said. "Most of the citations were for speeding. We gave three written warnings and nine verbal warnings."

Another detail at school zones last week resulted in 20 stops and 13 tickets.

"One of our biggest problems is on Main Street by Julia Randall Elementary school," Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner said. "There is usually a line of traffic down Main Street because people are picking up their kids. People who aren't get frustrated and start passing and it's a no passing zone."

This week, the traffic detail worked the stoplight at the intersection of Highway 87 and Highway 260.

"The last time we did this, we caught 17 people in a couple of hours," Engler said. "This time, we issued no red-light violations."

Engler said he believes the extra enforcement has made drivers slow down and obey the rules. He said the department's statistics show a 14-percent drop in traffic accidents in the past year.

"Collisions are down," Engler said. "There is a correlation between traffic enforcement and vehicle collisions."

"You reduce speed and inattentiveness, you reduce accidents," Gartner said. "Which reduces cost to everybody."

The next traffic detail is scheduled for Sept. 13 and Engler said there are more patrols being planned.

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