Extended interview with Mayor Alleger

Various+speed+limit+signs+in+town+have+had+new+%22photo+enforced%22+signs+placed+under+them+to+emphasize+the+new+speeding+regulations.

Various speed limit signs in town have had new “photo enforced” signs placed under them to emphasize the new speeding regulations.

OUTLOOK WEB EXCLUSIVE:

Prairie City Mayor Chad Alleger answered the following questions about his opinions on various topics regarding the city’s new speed cameras.

What is your opinion on the speed cameras?

“I think it is good for the community. I know we did a speed study before we instituted this. We knew speeding was a problem and had our own trailer. It’s currently out on 2nd street when you are heading down to Goldie’s. We have that one in town and we did our own traffic enforcement to try to gage the speeds, and we saw that it was pretty high. We had an independent company come out and do that study. Just on 163 alone in 3 ½ days we had 2100 speeding violations. The violations were set at going ten miles per hour over the speed limit. If you are going under that, then it doesn’t register as a violation. Then we realized we had a problem, especially on 163. We also had high numbers near [Prairie City Elementary] so we are planning on doing something more permanent there as well.”

What made the city switch from warnings to citations?

“Why we decided to do a citation instead of a warning is because if you get a warning, you are going to throw it out and go ‘wow I got a warning.’ If it financially impacts you, we are hoping you will go ‘ok wait, now I’m in Prairie City and I know to slow down.’ That’s what it’s all about. It’s really slowing people down. We have a new clinic coming in on 2nd street, and we are going to possibly have townhomes on that corner as well. Plus, you got the kids walking to school so it’s creating a real cluster in that section. We want to try to reduce the speeds as much as possible before someone gets hurt.”

How are you addressing negative public opinions?

“I have a personal rule that if someone has a question or a concern that I will get back to them within 24 hours. It’s not written anywhere. I answer any question whether they want to yell at me or support me, I listen to it and give them reasons why. I would like to say we always end it on a good note, but that is not always the case. I want people to be comfortable to come to me and ask questions because I am not going to yell; I am going to listen to them and explain why we do things a certain way. If they are that adamant about removing [something], then they need to come to a council meeting during public comments and voice their concerns. The more people that come and voice their concerns about a particular issue, the more likely council is to relook at that issue.”

Can people get tickets for going less than ten miles an hour over?

“It is written in the ordinance that [violations] start at one mile an hour over, but that is more for law enforcement. We have an in-house rule that the cameras and the trailer, once it comes, are registered not to give a ticket or a citation unless you are ten miles an hour or over. I know there has been a lot of stuff on Facebook saying that they’ve gotten a ticket for going one over. I tell them to show it to me. If they are telling the truth, then we have a problem that we need to correct. I have yet to have someone bring a ticket in going nine or under, so that is where we are at.”

“Every time I see it I ask them to prove it to me because if it is actually under ten, then we have a problem and we need to fix it because the cameras would be inaccurate. If someone is going one over and it is a suspicious vehicle, technically you can pull them over at one. It is used for AMBER alerts. We are not issuing tickets for going one mile an hour over.”

Some people have said it is illegal to put a camera on the highway, is it?

“We have reached out to DOT. To place it out there, the company actually had to petition to the DOT to tell them what they were going to do and where they were going to place it. They needed approval from the DOT to have the trailer.”

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the speed cameras, please contact Mayor Alleger and he will do his best to answer them.