Motorists in Clarksville could face stiffer penalties for speeding in residential areas of the City beginning July 1, through an ordinance recently supported unanimously by the Clarksville City Council.
Currently, people who are cited for speeding in residential neighborhoods are cited to City Court and face up to a $50 fine plus associated costs.
new measure that becomes effective next month establishes the unposted residential neighborhood speed limit at 20 mph, and means a violator could be cited to state court and fined a maximum of $500 plus associated costs.
The ordinance sponsor, Ward 2 City Councilperson Deanna McLaughlin, said the change is hoped to encourage motorists in Clarksville to modify their driving habits in residential areas. Councilperson McLaughlin said council members receive a large volume of correspondence regarding the topic from their constituencies.
"My hope is that people will think twice about the cost of receiving a citation before speeding in residential areas," Councilperson McLaughlin said. "Due to the increase in population and traffic in Clarksville, residential streets, now more than ever, are used as cut-throughs from one major road to another.
"Citizens want safe neighborhoods and safe neighborhoods include being able to walk on your street and not be at risk of being hit by a car that is driving in excess of 25 mph," she said.
She specifically thanks Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, and the full City Council, for supporting the ordinance.
Mayor Pitts said it's the right move to improve safety on Clarksville streets.
"I am thankful to Councilperson Deanna McLaughlin for bringing this ordinance forward," Mayor Pitts said. "Our primary goal remains to slow down the vehicles that travel through our neighborhoods. Speeding anywhere at any time will not be tolerated."
Councilperson McLaughlin also credits 22nd District State Senator Bill Powers and 68th District State Representative Curtis Johnson for sponsoring state legislation on Capitol Hill to enable the local ordinance.