Paragould Police Making Drivers Pay Up If They Don't Pay Attention

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) -- "In some of the residential areas, we've been writing tickets for 60 mph in a 30 mph zone," said Paragould Police Chief, J.D. Stephenson.

Paragould Police Chief J.D. Stephenson has been with the Paragould Police Department for 26 years.

He says, recently, traffic violations are as bad as he's ever seen.

"People were calling in and complaining how people were driving...about the high speeds they were driving," said Stephenson.

Stephenson and his officers were even more vigilant in efforts to keep drivers safe.

"We were writing more warnings to slow people down," said Stephenson.

In most cases though, the Chief says the warnings weren't doing the trick.

They were forced to the point that they had to start issuing more citations.

What they're doing is implementing a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drivers who break the law.....meaning if you don't pay attention, prepare to pay a fine.

"It's not that we enjoy writing tickets.  It's that we're trying to make this community as safe as we can. That's why we're doing what we're doing now," said Stephenson.

Chief Stephenson says they will concentrate heavily on the main thoroughfares.

For example, Highway 49 heading in and out of Paragould.....particularly where the speed limit is 45 miles an hour.

Chief Stephenson says writing these tickets is not about making money.

He says adamantly, it's about keeping people safe.

He says they will continue this no tolerance program until he sees results in the city....from slowing down drivers to making sure their obeying all traffic signs and signals.

"I hate that it had to come to us issuing citations to people. It just seems like the only thing we had at our disposal to get people to slow down," said Stephenson.