Gaffney Explores Idea Of More Traffic Enforcement On I-85 To Sol - WSPA.com

Gaffney Explores Idea Of More I-85 Traffic Enforcement To Solve Budget Woes

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A suggestion from the city of Gaffney's mayor may have you hitting the breaks on a busy stretch of Interstate 85. A suggestion from the city of Gaffney's mayor may have you hitting the breaks on a busy stretch of Interstate 85.

A suggestion from the city of Gaffney's mayor may have you hitting the breaks on the busy stretch of Interstate 85 that goes through that section of Cherokee County.

Mayor Henry Jolly said he threw out the idea at a meeting last week to see if strict enforcement on I-85 could help improve a bleak budget situation.

"It's pretty easy to find people speeding on the Interstate, so I guess it's kind of like a cash cow," said Allyson Camp, a commuter. "You just go out there and grab them."

Camp travels from Spartanburg up to her home in North Carolina a lot. She says she rarely speeds but thinks this idea in Gaffney would have police out there for the wrong reasons.

"I think it would make me mad if it was purely for a fundraising thing and it wasn't just about safety," Camp said.

The Gaffney City Administrator pointed a little bit further up the interstate to Blacksburg as a place that does do a lot of patrolling on I-85.

"We're more into drug enforcement and stopping the drug traffic," Blacksburg Mayor Hogue said.

Just this past week Blacksburg Police officers made more headlines for its drug efforts.

Mayor Hogue warns that drug money has to be used for drug enforcement. And even speeding tickets shouldn't be thought of as a way to replace tax revenue.

"You can't think of it in that way because," Hogue said. "You never know how many people are going to speed. It's something you can't depend on."

Blacksburg also annexed several miles along the interstate into its city over the last few years. That is something Gaffney might need to do if it wants more patrols on I-85.

"Annexation is always hard," Hogue said.

Gaffney city staff are checking to see what can be done. Gaffney has several pockets of land along I-85, but not any continual 5 mile stretches.

The city is going to regroup on May 6 to work on the budget.

Not all money collected for speeding tickets stays local. Gaffney's city audit for 2012 shows it took in revenues of about $340,000 for fines and fees. But it retained only $140,000 of that. The rest went to the state.

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