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FAST TALK: Port Arthur leaders talk solutions to city speeding

Port Arthur councilmembers were given numbers on traffic stops in the city since Feb. 1 during Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Port Arthur Police reported 5,702 traffic stops and 2,213 citations in the past nine months, and the department also kept track of enforcement in and around the city’s industrial district. Since Feb. 1, police made 158 stops on South Gulfway and Martin Luther King Drive; 163 on West Port Arthur Road; 131 on Texas 73; 322 on Gulfway Drive; and 361 on Memorial Boulevard.

Between 4-6 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. daily during the same time frame, 740 traffic stops were made in the city.

Sgt. Tyre Thomas of the Port Arthur Police Department’s commercial vehicle enforcement division presented the numbers to the council.

District 4 Councilman Harold Doucet requested the statistics after expressing much concern about speeding going to and from the industrial area in past meetings. He believes many of the people who are committing the speeding offenses are coming from outside Port Arthur and utilizing the city’s main thoroughfares.

“During the hours they’re going to work and getting off to work, I think those are times they should be out there,” Doucet said of the police department. “During the day, however, I don’t notice much difference.”

Doucet believes 6:30-7:30 a.m., however, is the prime window in which people arrive to work in the Port Arthur factories.

“During the work time, probably from 6:30 to 7:30, and they get off around 4 or 6, … if you go out there during that time, people will see what I’m talking about,” he said. “That was my whole point. Those are times when I’m out there. They’re still speeding out there in the district.”

District 2 Councilman Cal Jones commended Port Arthur Police, saying residents could see the results of the traffic stops.

“People are slowing down. I’m seeing less speeders, so you all have made a difference on the highways,” Jones said. “I’m seeing a lot more cars and trucks now with proper license plates and not in violation of broken tailpipes and taillights or things like that.”

By police officers enforcing speeding laws hard, drivers would get the message about keeping themselves and others safe on Port Arthur roads, Doucet believes.

“I don’t care who you are, you don’t speed in Bridge City,” he said. “They don’t get you to slow down. … They give tickets. That’s what I wanted them to do, give tickets.

“The people who are speeding aren’t citizens. You’ll see it’s going to cost them. Pretty soon, the word will get out.”

Proclamations

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie proclaimed September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Oct. 27 as Gift of Life Program Day in Port Arthur.

According to the proclamation, 24 women who utilized the Gift of Life program were diagnosed with breast cancer last year, in addition to four women during the first two months of 2020. The Gift of Life has helped save the lives of 250 women whose breast cancer was detected through free early detection critical services.

“Cancer does not stop just because of a virus, and we have to keep serving our people,” Gift of Life founder Regina Rogers said. “We’ve been screening hundreds of women from Port Arthur. … Our No. 1 community that’s sending women is Port Arthur, particularly this past week in Beaumont at Baptist [Hospital].”

The Gift of Life is hosting a “Get in the Pink” drive-thru luncheon for breast cancer survivors from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. today (Oct. 29) at Philpott Toyota, 2229 U.S. 69 in Nederland.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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