You may want to slow down when you're driving through Richmond County. In the first five months of last year, deputies wrote more than 4,300 speeding tickets. So far this year, they've already written more than 6,100. That's an increase of nearly 41% over the same time last year.
We sent a request to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office asking for statistics on speeding tickets. When we got the numbers, we went to the man in charge of the traffic division to find out why deputies are issuing more speeding tickets this year.
"I think since we formed the traffic division, we have more people focused on a
specific job," Traffic Division Commander Lt.
Amelio Lamkin says.
He says the traffic division has 38 officers who are out on the roads checking for speeders. Last year, there wasn't a traffic division in the Sheriff's Office.
"Last year, this time, the cars were on a shift, so we didn't have time to actually go focus on traffic related stuff. They were riding the beats. Now, since we formed the traffic division, that is all they do. Just strictly traffic enforcement," Lamkin says.
Deputies wrote about 1,800 more tickets through the month of May compared to the same time frame last year. So far this year, officers are catching most of the speeders on I-20, Bobby Jones Expressway and Gordon Highway. Nearly half of the tickets written this year were on those three roads.
"We formed the traffic division with three main goals. To lower fatalities, to lower crashes and to lower injuries here," Lamkin says.
And that is exactly what they are doing. This year, fatalities are down by 66% and crashes are down by 37%. And with operation thunder rolling through the county over the past few months, the number of traffic citations are up as well.
"We are still road checking. You will see license check points pop up anywhere in Richmond County. We are going to make sure everybody has their license, their insurance, stuff like that," Lamkin says.
He says he is telling his deputies to give more warnings to people, instead of giving them tickets.
"I hate that people are getting citations, but we are accomplishing our goal, we don't want to have any more people dying on our highways then we have to. We are going to go out there in full effort to enforce that," Lamkin says.
Even though operation thunder has ended, road blocks will continue to happen throughout the county. He says they could pop up any day, anytime and anywhere.
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