TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) - Tallassee Mayor John Hammock and Police Chief Matthew Higgins said drivers have been given somewhat of a grace period over the past few months to adjust to some changes the City has made to help with traffic flow.
Both came into their roles just more than a year ago and say public safety and traffic concerns were a high priority. They said they receive complaints about speeding on a daily basis.
"Every day I get some form of complaint about speeding," Hammock said. "Just today, I've gotten about four or five. They won't necessarily be from that day. They can be something that person saw a few days before."
They said the City has spent the last few months evaluating and trying to build solutions to traffic flow issues.
"We've had marked units out and unmarked units," Higgins said. "I rode around with my captain, and we were looking. We also worked with the state because a number of our roads are federal highways."
In 2017, Tallassee Police made 3,622 traffic stops. That is 250 more stops than were made in 2016. Higgins attributed that increase to patrols being more proactive with drivers and stopping them to give oral warnings.
"The stops are definitely a deterrent, even if they aren't writing tickets," Higgins said.
The City has had to implement some other strategies to help with traffic concerns because the police department does not have a specific traffic unit. At the end of 2017, the City placed new stop signs at four busy intersections in residential neighborhoods the City identified as "hot spots" where people speed through to cut between major roadways. Last month, the City completed a next step in laying rumble strips at 12 intersections, including where the new stop signs are, to help drivers take notice of the new stop signs and bring attention to their speeds.
As the City assesses how the newest addition will impact safety in the City, Chief Higgins said citizens can expect officers to begin writing more citations if laws are not adhered to. He also said the department is working to get a traffic unit, which would be one unit specifically dedicated to patrolling roadways for traffic violations.
Hammock said public safety has been his top priority even since his campaign when he ran for mayor. He said residents are encouraged to send in information on drivers who are not adhering to traffic laws.