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PAPD: No warnings, just tickets in July
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
The Port Arthur Police Department wants to make it clear drivers will be ticketed this July if they are caught not wearing a seat belt, speeding, or driving unsafely. The department says it's flooded with traffic complaints and wants to get drivers' attention. That's why officers are taking action, and proclaimed July a "Zero-Tolerance Month."
Regina Cornell and her children live in Port Arthur.
"I have noticed aggressive driving yes, I have," said Cornell. "It's pretty bad, especially in neighborhoods, they go too fast."
She thinks the Port Arthur Police Department's month of of zero tolerance, or zero warnings, could help.
"I think it's a good idea, because people should be doing that anyway for the safety of everyone," said Cornell. "Because when you're driving you're not only driving for yourself, you're driving for everybody else."
Other Port Arthur residents aren't so sure.
"Maybe some warnings, give you a warning, just not straight out give you a ticket," said Shirely Conley.
Officer Rickey Antoine with the department's Traffic Unit says this month they've been flooded with traffic complaints.
"About people and their wayward driving, and their disobediance to either [follow] the speed law, or the safety belt, or running the stoplights," said Antoine. "And we got to the point where we said enough is enough."
That's why this July officers will give only tickets, no warnings.
"If you're being a wayward driver, and someone that drives over the speed limit, and not securing your children, and an aggressive driver, let this serve as your warning to stop," said Antoine.
Police also hope to bring down a recent spike in traffic fatalities.
"Last year and the beginning of this year we've seen a spike," said Antoine, "and especially the spike has been between people who are walking or on bicycles."
Which is even more of a concern now that school is out for summer.
"Kids are playing outside, they're not aware of- if the ball rolls into the street, they're going to want to go and get it," said Cornell.
Residents and police hope drivers heed the warning and follow the law.
"We will stop you if you are violating the law and we will issue you a citation," said Antoine.
The Traffic Unit says it has received more than 30 complaints in the last two weeks. It usually only receives 2 or 3 complaints each week.