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Police enforcing speed limit along U.S. 65 bypass in Harrison, Ark.

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 4:54 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Following a new speed enforcement program, Harrison Police Department looks to correct speeding along the major bypass in town.

“Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine” has been implemented in recent weeks by several local police departments, including Harrison. Following its initial wave, police say they will continue to keep a close eye on speeds, particularly along major roads like U.S. 65.

The stretch of highway runs through the heart of Harrison. And through the middle of town things can often slow. As drivers enter the major bypass, traffic tends to pick up, despite the speed limit staying the same.

”They speed a lot all over this town, but the bypass is unreal,” said Marika Shields, who has been a long time resident of Harrison.

Since the bypass is technically a highway, it has its fair share of traffic. As Joe McSpadden explained, with narrow roads and curves it can be a pain to drive.

”I try to avoid it as much as possible,” said McSpadden. “Really dangerous a lot of times, especially with people who are impatient just weaving in and out of traffic.”

As if that is not dangerous enough, several businesses along the bypass means just as many drivers pulling on and off the road.

”It’s very hard to pull out anywhere along the bypass because they go so fast,” said Shields.

”I’ve almost been hit a few times, pulling out myself, and people coming out of nowhere,” said McSpadden. “My wife’s been actually ran off the road right around this area actually from somebody pulling out and just coming right over on her.”

It is an issue that Harrison Police Department knows. Officers say there has been three fatal car accidents along the bypass in the last two months. While that comes with the increase in summer travel, it is a concern for the community.

”They just wanna really accelerate and get through the quicker parts of the highway,” said Cpl. Josh Applegate. “Which in the City of Harrison, the speed limits only 45 through there and we’ll often catch violators upwards of 60 miles per hour if not faster.”

Following their new enforcement program, it is something they’re looking to address.

”So the intent of that is to slow traffic down,” said Cpl. Applegate. “Primarily for the fact of reducing any sort of serious injury accident or any sort of fatality accidents.”

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