Drivers Face Radar Survey

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Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie came to a board of supervisors work session this morning with a gun, a radar gun.

At the recent sheriff's convention in Meridian, he learned that Warren, Hinds, Rankin and other counties in the eastern part of the state are researching speeding patterns on their roads, using a radar gun.

"So we came back and we decided if they can do that over there, we need to do it here locally because the only way we're going to get support in the future is for the public to be educated concerning the blatant disregard for the signs that you guys are paying to put up," said Sollie.

The sheriff displayed a radar gun which his department has borrowed. Sollie said some drivers go 75 miles per hour on county roads.

"We're going to go out in the county and we're going to collect data on five different roads in all five of your jurisdictions and we're going to present that information back to the board, showing we were able to observe this many cars and this is the speed that they were clocked at on this date at this time," the sheriff said.

Sollie said using the radar gun for non-enforcement reasons is legal.

"I have for you, gentlemen, you know I do my homework, an attorney general's opinion that clearly points out if we're not using it for enforcement purposes, it's perfectly legal for us to have this," said Sollie.

The Lauderdale County information will be added to that of other counties, as the Mississippi Sheriff's Association lobbies the legislature in the next session to make radar legal for catching speeders in all 82 counties.

Currently, only Lowndes County and municipalities may use radar. The state legislature approved a local/private bill years ago that authorized the use of radar by deputies in Lowndes County.