Demopolis council looks at speeding on Walnut Avenue

Published 4:01 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

The Demopolis City Council had somewhat heated discussion on the issue of speeding and trucks on Walnut Ave. Council member David McCants opened the discussion by talking about Phase One and the impact it has had on the area.

McCants said that they have tried Phase One and it has not worked to curb the amount of speeders on the road nor has it stopped eighteen-wheelers from straying from the designated truck route. He said it is time to implement Phase Two which includes imposing fines for truck drivers and placing another stop sign at Walnut and Decatur Street.

“This is not a political thing, it’s a safety thing. What I’m asking to do is not done by the Chief of Police, the city council, or the Mayor,” said McCants. “These individuals who are breaking the law are putting this on themselves. They don’t want to abide by the law.”

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McCants said that fines cannot be less than $100 for the first infraction, the second fine could be as high as $500 or more. McCants suggested that the city put a $500 maximum sign on the truck route to deter future drivers from traveling on Walnut Ave.

“The truck route is built for eighteen-wheelers. Our roads are not sufficient enough for trucks. So again, these people are putting this on themselves. It’s not us,” said McCants.

McCants had support from resident Harold Parks who has brought up the issue of speeding and truckers on the road for several years. Parks suggested placing another stop sign or speed bumps on the road to slow down drivers.

Mayor Woody Collins said that by state law the city cannot place a fine on truck drivers, a point that McCants disagreed with, but Marengo County Commissioner Freddie Armstead agreed with Collins on the fines.

Collins also said he had a list of other streets in Demopolis that also have concerns of speeding. He said the city can’t work with only one group to solve the speeding problem, it has to work for the community.

“We can’t throw all of our resources at one location. I have no problems at all about meeting with the Public Safety Committee to see what we can do about the problem,” said Collins. “But anybody who thinks we haven’t made a difference, I’d like to disagree with that opinion.”

Collins said the issue would be turned over to the Public Safety Committee for consideration and recommendations, effectively ending the discussion.