Stopping speeders makes sense (and maybe dollars, too)

Published 10:27 pm Saturday, February 7, 2015

The last time we looked, Bogalusa is nowhere near Daytona, Fla., or Talladega, Ala.

Mention Daytona or Talladega to any auto racing fan, and they know immediately those locations are home to the Daytona 500 and Talladega 500, respectively. Both races are part of NASCAR’s Spring Cup Series. The name of the game in any auto race is speed.

Speed is all well and good when one is on a racetrack trying to beat other drivers to the finish line.

But speed is quite another issue driving in downtown Bogalusa on Columbia Street.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, citizens lined up to address the rampant speeding through the heart of Bogalusa. Most of the speakers at the meting were Columbia Street business owners. They pleaded for the Bogalusa Police Department to address the problem and issue speeding tickets.

At the meeting, Mayor Wendy Perrette recommended the public let Police Chief Joe Culpepper know of the situation when they see him around town. Phone calls to the department would also help.

A 25-miles-per-hour speed limit sign is plainly visible at two sites upon entering Columbia Street. However, drivers pay little heed to the signs and roar down the street with little heed for pedestrians in crosswalks, people attempting to back out of parking lots and anything else that is foolish enough to get in their way.

Columbia Street speeders are not limited to people in regular automobiles. School buses are among the common speed offenders on the thoroughfare, according to the business owners who spoke at the meeting. School administrators can easily find out who the guilty parties are and either warn them about their speed or terminate them if warnings go unheeded.

A city patrol car was parked on Columbia Street Friday, perhaps sending a message to the guilty. But a clearer message could be sent if the police started issuing citations en masse. Hitting people in the pocketbook sends the best message of all.