State Police Crackdown on Bad Drivers

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -- Some scary statistics have led state troopers in one Region 8 county to take serious action.  A speed saturation is going on this week in Jackson county.

"Our ultimate goal is to slow people down.  It's just out of control in this county," said Arkansas State Police Senior Corporal David Dixon.

In an effort to regain control area troopers are saturating Jackson County with 8 troopers on the ground and one overhead.

A state trooper pilots a plane over Highway 14 watching for speeders.  White marks on the highway every quarter of a mile allow him to gage how fast drivers are going.

"He uses a stopwatch and his eyes.  He can pick out a vehicle and watch it as it crosses those white lines and he knows what the distance is and how long it takes to get to a certain place at certain speeds,"  said Dixon.

Dixon said the numbers they've seen in the past year are down right frightening.  The number of accidents is up 24% and the number of fatalities in Jackson County alone is up even more.

"We're up 125% on fatalities, which is no good at all.  Of course, any wreck has the potential to be a fatality and that's what we're out here for trying to stop those," said Dixon.

He said speed and not paying attention are the two of the biggest causes of accidents.

"Most of our statistics are showing that people are running off the road, crossing the center line and passing in no passing zones," said Dixon.

On Wednesday troopers handed out 56 speeding tickets and 88 warnings.

"We had it pretty much covered and we made quite a few traffic stops.  Hopefully we got some attention," said Dixon.

The saturation will continue Thursday and Friday, with a checkpoint set up somewhere in Jackson County on Friday.