Craig PD tells motorists to slow down |

Craig PD tells motorists to slow down

Paul Shockley

Welcome to Craig: 25 mph please.

That’s the message drivers entering the city’s major road arteries should soon be seeing, as the Craig Police Department Tuesday announced the lowering of residential speed limits from 30 mph to 25 mph.

City crews were due to post the new messages “Speed Limit 25 All Streets Unless Otherwise Posted” Tuesday at the city limits entering Craig on both sides of U.S. Highway 40, as well as north and south along state Highway 13.

“Generally, this is the only notice drivers will have concerning the speed limit,” according to the

police department.

Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the department received its new warning signs about one month ago, but busy city crews with the arrival of winter opted to wait for spring. Drier, clear weather in recent weeks pushed timetables up, the chief said.

Federal standards laid down for residential areas set speed limits at 30 mph, while cities may lower or raise limits given road or traffic conditions, Vanatta said.

But streets, narrow and curved, running up and down hills through many of the city’s neighborhoods, don’t warrant the additional 5 mph, Vanatta believes.

Craig’s long-standing speeding worries have been the focus of increased department attention in recent months. Craig police in October began lending out its lone, hand-held speed radar to residents, who are trained by the department to use the devise and document speeders.

There’s still a waiting list for the radar, Vanatta said.

“We’ve sent out 25 warning letters,” the chief said.

“Speeding is one of the largest complaints we get from a traffic-related standpoint,” Vanatta said.

Roads designed for traffic at other speeds aren’t affected, according to the department.

“It won’t change any of those areas already posted differently,” Vanatta said.

But will the changes affect serial speeders’ driving habits?

Administrative Sergeant Bill Leonard suggested residents’ perception of the problem could be affected.

“Thirty miles per hour to the average citizen will appear that much faster,” Leonard said.

The department’s current computer software doesn’t provide complete figures for speeding complaints handled, or tickets issued, per month, according to Craig police.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 to at

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