Bibb deputies to focus on traffic safety

In an effort to reduce traffic deaths, injuries and crashes during the peak travel season this summer, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is enacting a new traffic safety enforcement initiative.

Deputies will be keeping a close watch on traffic violators on interstates, local highways, school zones and pedestrian crosswalks in coming months, Sheriff David Davis said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference on Wimbish Road.

“What we’re doing is putting an emphasis on aggressive drivers whether they (are) speeding, whether they are wearing seat belts .... just the general traffic behavior of people,” Davis said. “Basically, it’s all about paying attention to your driving. It’s about watching the speed limit, making sure you’re wearing your seat belt.”

In neighborhoods where speeding already is a problem, a mobile sign will flash drivers’ current speeds to give them the opportunity to slow down before citations will be issued. One of the speed detection devices already has been installed on Wimbish Road, the site of a recent crash, and Davis said another is set to be put up on Shurling Drive.

“We get calls from neighborhoods all over the community about aggressive driving, about speeding,” Davis said.

So far this year, there have been 13 auto-related fatalities in Macon-Bibb County — nine from car wrecks and four involving pedestrian deaths. Two of those fatalities have occurred within the past week.

Deputy Dominque Johnson said she’ll be on the lookout for unsafe drivers in numerous areas that are hot spots for traffic violators.

“There’s already been a lot of injuries and fatalities in Macon, and we’re trying to minimize that number by cracking down on the things that have led to those accidents,” said Johnson, who patrols an area that spans from Riverside Drive to Thomaston Road. “Usually we sit in an area where we get a lot of complaints and stuff for speeders or people saying they see children in the back seat jumping around.”

Problem areas also can be identified through past traffic citations and crash histories, and “after looking at that, you know exactly where to post at to look for those” violations, Johnson said.

Child safety seat checkpoints will also take place periodically, but no locations have been announced.

Residents are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office with concerns about traffic violators at 478-751-7500 or on Facebook.

“Let us know of these things,” the sheriff said. “Any way we can connect with the community to find out about the aggressive drivers in people’s neighborhoods, that’s what we want to do.”

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor