Sheriffs Want Radar

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Some central Mississippi sheriffs are again urging lawmakers to allow them to use radar to detect speeding motorists.

Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin said he believes that motorists will slow down on county roads if they know a deputy has the ability to monitor their speed.

McMillin and sheriffs from Madison, Rankin and Warren counties were in Byram Wednesday to make their point. Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, who will be president of the Mississippi Sheriffs Association in 2003, has also lobbied for local/private legislation to get the approval for deputies to use radar.

McMillin said the desire for radar detectors has nothing to do with money counties would derive from tickets, but everything to do with saving lives.

Carl Fors of Speed Measurement Laboratories said he's been researching how fast people drive on county roads. He said the average speed in Byram on Monday was 51 mph. Fors said when he put up a sign that said radar was in use, the speed dropped to 45 mph.

Fors adds that Mississippi and Pennsylvania are the only two states where sheriffs don't have permission to use radar.

The issue has come before the Mississippi Legislature time after time and has failed to be considered.