Houston County Commission Considering Speed Limits in County Vehicles

By Daniel Curtis - bio | email

Dothan, Ala. (WSFA) -  High gas prices are causing a lot of us to change our driving habits; whether it's driving less, taking fewer trips or getting smaller cars.

Now Houston County is working to change how fast their employees drive.

At the end of this fiscal year, Houston County is expected be about $300,000 over budget for fuel expenses.

That number could be even higher if fuel prices keep going up.  In an effort to soften the blow from high fuel prices, county officials are considering imposing a mandatory speed limit for employees driving county vehicles.

"We want to make sure we're being as efficient as possible with fuel usage," said Commission chairman Mark Culver.

During Thursday's administrative agenda meeting, the commission discussed several options for a speed policy.

Exceptions would be made for emergencies, like ones the Sheriff's office and EMA office would encounter, with discretion given to the Sheriff and EMA director

"We sent a memo out to all our deputies and supervisors to make sure your deputies are, if your transporting a prisoner to the jail from the field, or if were out patrolling whatever the case may be, especially are civil division people, no need to get into a hurry, drive the speed limit while you're doing those duties," said Houston County Sheriff, Andy Hughes.

Also during the meeting officials cited a recent survey that says driving slower reduces the number of accidents.

"I certainly wouldn't have a problem putting maximum speed limit on all county vehicles driven by employees," said District 2 commissioner Bobby Snellgrove.

The county commission will make a final decision on the matter during it next regular agenda meeting Monday.  If the policy approved, it will take effect immediately.