Speed limit signs are visibly posted throughout Fort Gordon and despite law enforcement officials enforcing them, speeding remains an issue on the installation.
Law enforcement officers, backed by the Fort Gordon command team, are warning the community to “slow down,” because while you may not be watching your speed, they are.
William Russ, deputy chief of operations, said that although officers have been cracking down on speeding for a while, the number of traffic stops related to speeding has increased during recent months. To further address the issue, the Directorate of Emergency Services has placed portable marquees at the installation access points as part of an awareness campaign that serves as a reminder for drivers to watch their speed.
“The signs are out – there’s been ample warning,” Russ said. “We are writing citations … Just follow the law.”
Regardless of one’s military affiliation, anyone who is caught speeding on Fort Gordon will receive a U.S. District Court Violation Notice and have the option to pay the fine or dispute it at court in downtown Augusta.
“Retirees, active-duty, DA civilian workers, contractors – all services – it’s gotta stop,” Fort Gordon Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brent Smith said during a recent meeting with community housing mayors, at which time he asked for their help in spreading the word.
Fines begin at $75 and increase depending on the speed, plus carry a $30 administration fee to process. If caught doing 20 or more MPH over the speed limit, the person will receive six-month driving suspension that bars them from driving on the installation. A second offense carries a one-year suspension.
“We’re catching people that aren’t paying attention and zip through 20-plus miles an hour in places like school zones and coming up Avenue of the States, where the speed limit is lower than it is in some areas,” Russ explained.
In addition to setting up marquees, officers are setting up enforcement positions where for a set amount of time they will be out with LiDar (light detection and ranging) – a method used for detecting speed that operates similarly to radar – and canines for potential vehicle searches if the situation warrants one.
“The majority of our traffic stops are simple violations, but sometimes they go into additional criminal offenses – weapons and drugs – which hurts readiness,” Russ said.
Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Shaw Pick said that the command team fully supports DES in its efforts, noting that their primary concern on the installation is to keep everyone safe.
“Traffic accidents and pedestrian safety are a constant issue for us,” Pick said. “The traffic speed limits on Fort Gordon are not set arbitrarily; they are set in accordance with Georgia State Traffic Codes, and we conduct a traffic survey each year to make sure we are optimized for traffic flow.”
Smith he has “no pity” for anyone who gets caught speeding, adding that there is no excuse for it – especially in high-traffic areas and where signs are posted.
“When you have people standing before you telling you to slow it down and be careful – “arrive alive” – and you choose not to do it, then you’ve got to be held accountable,” Smith said. “You gotta slow down.”