03/10/05 — Princeton police to get tough with U.S. 70 traffic

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Princeton police to get tough with U.S. 70 traffic

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 10, 2005 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton police say they will vigorously enforce traffic safety law along U.S. 70.

"If they see a blatant violation, they'll have to take care of it," Police Chief Eddie Lewis said of his four-man department.

Only one intersection on U.S. 70, at Pearl Street and Edwards Road, is within the town limits. But the other four are within the town's zoning jurisdiction, and police are allowed to make arrests there.

"If a dispatcher calls and says there is someone all over the road, we'll investigate," Lewis said during Monday night's monthly town board meeting. "Two weeks ago one was going the wrong way on 70."

Princeton police average less than one arrest a day on the busy highway. But many of those arrested, Lewis said, were speeding at more than 70 mph in the 55-mph zone.

Town Commissioner Walter Martin Jr., a Smithfield police detective, discussed the purchase of a new police car, the need for new car and portable radios, time-consuming involuntary commitments and other issues.

Lewis said the town will get a used police car next month for about $10,000. He said all but three of the department's 11 radios would have to be rebanded so that they would be compatible with Johnston County's new digital emergency system. The radios cost about $3,000 each.

The chief added that he is looking into a grant for traffic control from the Governor's Highway Safety Program for one or three years with a 25 percent town match.

He also said a town sweep would be held Saturday, weather permitting, to look for solid waste and animal control problems.