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Officers increase speeding focus, stop cab

By Imari Scarbrough, for the SNAP

Two months after issuing a plea — and warning — to speeding motorists, the Oakboro Police Department announced it had pulled over a taxi that was allegedly traveling 24 mph over the speed limit.

“Who knew a cab could fly?” the department posted on its Facebook page Nov. 24. “Well, we saw one this morning going 59/35. Missed six 35 mph speed limit signs in the process. Excuse was, ‘I’m not from the area and I had a hot fare.’ Well, at 24 mph over the posted speed, this fare will cost $11.66 per mile.”

Chief T.J. Smith said motorists are typically pulled over in cases where they’re going at least 15 mph over the limit.

“It’s for the safety of our town,” Smith said. “We can’t have people crossing the street and risk having someone hitting them.”

Smith also said that with the large number of intersections downtown, speeding could easily turn into a deadly accident.

In September, Sgt. Jason Eschert said the department had seen a significant increase in the number of speeding citations it had issued over the summer. One car was allegedly traveling at 70 mph in a 20 mph downtown Sept. 1.

The department has made other social media posts regarding speeding lately. On Nov. 23, the day before pulling over the cab, the department posted that “complaints of excessive speed on Rocky River Road were accurate yesterday.” Officers cited 25 motorists with speeding violations. Of those, 20 were traveling between 15-20 mph over the limit while the others were at least 21 mph over the limit.

“The average speed of these violations was 54 mph in a 35 mph zone,” the department posted. “Other violations included driving while license revoked, expired registration plate and window tint.”

The department had posted a warning earlier in the day saying it would focus on traffic enforcement on that road.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.