Springfield Police Announce Enhanced Traffic Enforcement Initiative

Springfield, Mass — Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced an enhanced traffic enforcement initiative on Thursday in response to the recent motor vehicle fatalities and the upcoming holiday season.

The Springfield Police Department’s Traffic Unit, Metro Unit, Ordinance Unit and Squad Officers will begin a high visibility enforcement plan that will include an increase in officers watching specifically for traffic violations, message boards to inform drivers that there is speed enforcement ahead and a public service campaign to announce these details to deter individuals from speeding, driving recklessly or distracted.  During the holiday season, officers who are not responding to calls will position their marked cruisers on highly traveled roads with their blue lights on to warn drivers that they are conducting traffic enforcement.

“The goal here is compliance.  We want drivers to pay attention, slow down and put their phones away.  We want drivers and pedestrians to get home safely.  We want to alert all drivers of police presence ahead so that they slow down and we do not have to issue a citation or investigate another fatal crash.  As it gets dark earlier, we urge pedestrians and bicyclists to follow the rules of the road and be bright and visible.  When you cross the street don’t assume a driver sees you or will slow down, because far too often they don’t.  Our ultimate goal is public safety for everyone on the road,” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “I want to commend Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, Captain David Martin, Lt. Mel Kwatowski and all of our brave and dedicated men and women in Blue for their efforts in keeping our streets safe for our residents.  SPD will continue to use a combination of traffic enforcement initiatives with a focus of educating drivers and enforcing the rules of road.  These initiatives will include but not be limited to the continued use of our check your speed trailer, continued active traffic enforcement at hot spot areas and throughout the city, and non-traffic police details will have their blue lights on when traveling through our city streets to help increase awareness of their presence.  However, we need support from our residents and families and from our Courts.  Commissioner Clapprood just informed me that yet again, another five traffic citations that SPD had issued were once again dismissed in Court – what message is that sending to these offenders.  It’s telling them to continue to drive distracted, under the influence or speeding because there will be no consequences for their actions.  God forbid when their selfish and thoughtless actions catch up to them and someone gets hurt or worse killed.  We need the backing of our Courts to hold these reckless and distracted drivers responsible.  What is it going to take for our Courts to finally hold someone accountable?”

“Additionally, we need parents to step up and help educate their children and help keep them safe,” Mayor Sarno continued.  “SPD recently caught and pulled over driver doing over 70 mph on State Street.  It turned out the driver was only 18 years old and instead of the family upset at the child for speeding and driving recklessly where someone could have been seriously hurt or killed, including the young driver, the family has filed a complaint against the Police Officer for pulling their child over and giving them a speeding ticket.  I swear, you cannot make this stuff up.  Where is the responsible parent to hold their child accountable for their actions?  What message is this sending our youth?  I’ll tell you, this type of parenting is only setting up our children for failure as they grow up and we collectively need to do better for our children.  I plead with our residents and families please talk to your children, if not for our community then for their safety and good health.  Simply put, this is about public safety and saving lives, including the perpetrator.”

While increased traffic enforcement will continue, the first enhanced enforcement effort will take place along the State Street corridor on Friday.

Fines for speeding begin at $105 for drivers going 1-10 miles per hour over the speed limit.  These fines increase $10 for every mile per hour over the speed limit after that.  A driver going 35 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will be fined $355.

The penalties for violating the hands free law are assessed a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 fine for a second offense and a $500 fine plus an insurance surcharge for 3rd and subsequent offense.