Officer pleads with public to slow down, arrive alive

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, March 20, 2021

By Poplarville Police Officer Charles Kelly

Early on the morning of March 10, 2021, I stopped a college student for speeding (73 in a 55) on Highway 26. She was rushing back to her dorm before lockdown. Last shift, I stopped another college student for speeding (66 in a 45).

I try to be nice and understanding. I know college kids don’t have piles of money, are young and are bent on having fun…but enough is enough.

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On the evening of March 9, 2021 I stopped a Louisiana driver on 26 for 69 in a 45. I cited him. Speeding, especially on Highway 26 and South Main Street, is a serious problem, and speeding is a threat to public safety.

In a series of studies over a period of several years, the Department of Transportation identified seven primary causes of fatal motor vehicle accidents. The number one cause identified was speeding. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over a period of 20 years speeding has been identified as the primary cause of over one-third of fatal traffic accidents. Statistics show that between 9,000 and 10,000 people a year are killed in traffic accidents related to excessive speed. That works out to an average of about 24 to 27 people per day.

The reality is that one life that is lost to irresponsible driving is one too many.

Speeding endangers the lives of speed limit violators, other drivers and the public in general.

Speed limits are established for a reason.

Operation of a motor vehicle at excessive speeds results in an increased potential for loss of vehicle control, a reduced effectiveness of vehicle safety equipment, increased stopping distances, shorter reaction times and a higher potential for serious or fatal injuries.

Poplarville Police Department is committed to enforcing the law in the interest of public safety, and those who choose to violate the posted speed limits inside the city of Poplarville will be caught.

It is not a matter of if someone will get stopped and cited for speeding violations, but a matter of when.

The reality is that sooner or later, speeding will cost you. Speeding will cost you money due to fines from being cited for speeding violations, payment of medical expenses and potential increases in insurance premiums.

But worst of all, speeding could cost you your life, or the life of another citizen.

So please slow down, obey the posted speed limits, drive safe, and arrive alive.