Council pushes Lima to slow down speeders


By Josh Ellerbrock - jellerbrock@limanews.com



LIMA — Lima City Council is recommending that the city’s administration allocate additional resources and manpower to curb the number of speeding drivers in Lima.

Councilors took up the issue after hearing from a number of residents worried about speeding vehicles in neighborhoods and throughout high-trafficked areas, such as Cable Road near UNOH. Since the warmer weather began, off road vehicles — such as four-wheelers and dirt-bikes — have also begun to appear in city limits, councilors said.

“I think because there are a lot of things closed down, they’re looking for other activities,” Councilor Jamie Dixon said. “But we have to be safe.”

Police Chief Kevin Martin said his department could increase the police presence in some areas, but his department is already dealing with difficult budget cuts. Due to the economic shutdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the city administration is asking departments to operate lean, and LPD already has 13 positions open due to attrition with no plans for rehires any time soon.

Even so, Martin said he would have no qualms about reaching out to outlying law enforcement agencies, such as the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, to try to increase police coordination and cut down on speeding if that’s what council wanted to do.

But he also delivered some words of warning. LPD doesn’t have jurisdiction over other agencies or how they operate. In other words, the attempt to add police presence in some areas may not make all residents happy.

“What I hear from council is ‘more tickets.’ But people aren’t going to be happy when they get the tickets,” Martin said.

Other councilors looked for other approaches.

“It’s a sensitive time in our community,” Councilor Tony Wilkerson said. “If we have heightened patrolling, it’ll be a question of ‘why?’ Let’s be careful requesting additional law enforcement on the streets of Lima.”

Wilkerson asked about potential signage that could be placed in these areas to curb speeding, which are typically placed by engineering departments. Councilor Carla Thompson also recommended undertaking a community education campaign headed by the Department of Community Development via its neighborhood program to see what could be done to educate drivers.

By the end of the Tuesday night meeting, councilors ended up recommending that the city take three actions: coordinating with outside law enforcement to increase police presence in abused areas, initiating a public awareness campaign to educate drivers about the importance of driving safely and studying a series of roads and intersections where residents have complained about excessive speeding to identify improvements.

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By Josh Ellerbrock

jellerbrock@limanews.com

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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