Sheriff targets Carson speeders, cuts accidents | NevadaAppeal.com

Sheriff targets Carson speeders, cuts accidents

Jill Lufrano

Walking near Sonoma Street on Wednesday morning, Karen Euse pushed her 11-month-old baby in an exercise stroller past a car that rests smashed against a tree in a front yard.

A teenager racing down the residential street lost control and careened into the parked car the night before, taking out a fence and garage door.

The speeding concerns Euse and several neighbors who watch as cars regularly speed through the area. She estimates cars average speeds up to 40 mph in the 25 mph zone.

“It’s scary,” Euse said. “It’s a residential area and there’s tons of kids around here. Especially with it being summer and kids are out, people need to be a lot more careful.”

The problem is citywide, said Sheriff Kenny Furlong. So far this year, 950 accidents occurred in Carson City, resulting in 39 substantial injuries.

“That is absolutely unacceptable,” Furlong said. “It is apparent that many of our residents cannot abide by the traffic laws without an enforcement action being placed on them.”

Residents surveyed each year continue to identify speeding as a primary concern.

“That’s what prompts residents to be fearful of allowing kids to play in front yards or to back out of driveways in some instances,” Furlong said.

Traffic enforcement activities are targeting speeders, most recently along Mountain Street between Winnie and Nye lanes. About 600 drivers are stopped every month for traffic violations.

Area law enforcement officials are reporting positive results. In June, the sheriff’s department recorded a 5 percent drop in accidents, while Nevada Highway Patrol marked a 22 percent decrease within city limits.

Sgt. Mike Cullen, traffic division supervisor, said officers are finding that although speeding has increased along Mountain Street since school ended, “everybody and their brother” from young to old are found exceeding the limits.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen up there,” Cullen said.

Other hot spots for county enforcement include Roop Street, Winnie Lane and Edmonds Drive.

The department has three motor officers and might add another officer dedicated to traffic patrol.

During the evening commute, a special traffic control unit will target specific areas throughout the summer. The city also approved two additional patrol officer positions.

The additional officers will enable traffic units to spend more time doing traffic-related matters, Furlong said.

The department relies on a traffic hotline used by residents to alert them to problem areas. Traffic officers pick up messages directly from the hotline. They also monitor high-frequency accident areas.

Officers are also asking drivers to pay closer attention to their surroundings, Cullen said. With air conditioners and radios masking outside noise, officers are finding drivers are not listening for emergency vehicles.

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.