Police Stepping Up Traffic Patrol

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Go ahead. Run that red light. See what happens next.

If you've gotten away with it before, now is not the time to try. The Payson Police Department recently received $8,160 from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety to fund overtime for traffic enforcement.

"Some of the things that we will be paying close attention to are folks that run red lights," said Payson Police commander Don Engler. "(We will also have) enhanced speed details, specifically surrounding the schools and main arteries in the community."

Police will also be paying closer attention to seat belt enforcement.

"It's getting a lot better than it used to be," Engler said. "I notice a few citations for failure to wear seat belts come through, but I think the education campaigns are starting to pay off."

These grant funds are part of an ongoing effort by the state to make local roads and highways safer. Similar grants in 2002 and 2004 resulted in 397 vehicles stopped and the issuance of 304 citations and 10 arrests.

In addition to the GOHS grant, Payson Police Department still has money from the DUI abatement grant which provides extra patrols for DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) enforcement.

But if they use all the abatement money, the police department may use some of the GOHS money for special DUI enforcement, according to Engler.

Year-end DUI statistics for 2005 resulted in 272 arrests, up from 217 the prior year.

"We ran a saturation patrol last week," Engler said.

The two arrests made Monday, one for DUI/DUI drugs and one for DUI/extreme DUI, were part of that special enforcement detail.

"We are trying some different days of the week and that kind of thing so we are not real predictable on it," Engler said.

During the week beginning April 3, Payson police officers made six DUI arrests. For the week beginning April 10, police made five and Gila County Sheriff's officers made two DUI arrests.

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