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Why No Radar or Laser Guns to Catch Gwinnett Speeders? | News

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Why No Radar or Laser Guns to Catch Gwinnett Speeders?
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GWINNETT COUNTY, GA -- If you're driving through most of Gwinnett County these days, you can ignore those highway signs that warn about speed detection devices...at least the hi-tech ones.

That's because right now Gwinnett County and most local city police departments can't use radar or laser guns to target speeders.

The reason those devices are banned is because most of Gwinnett's police agencies lost their certification to use them as of January 1st.

Not because police did anything wrong, but because local and county politicians are tied up in a legal battle over whose tax dollars pay for services like public safety.

Until that spat is settled, the state won't certify police agencies to use radar or laser speed guns.

That may be good news to some drivers, but not all.

"It won't help the safety factor with people driving around and there are speeders out there," motorist Gwelda Adkins told 11 Alive News on Wednesday.

But lead-footers aren't off the hook completely.

Georgia State Troopers can still write them up on many Gwinnett roads.

What's more, Gwinnett County Police say they'll keep enforcing speeding laws the old fashioned way...with a helicopter and by using speedometers in their patrol cars to pace traffic.

"If we suspect somebody's violating the speed, we'll match that speed; we'll document it and we'll stop that vehicle for speeding," said Gwinnett County Police spokesman Corporal Edwin Ritter.

Some motorists wonder if the old fashioned speedometer technique will hold up in court as well as the more hi-tech devices.

"My husband's an attorney and I think attorneys are going to have a field day with the old fashioned way, without radar guns," said motorist Lori Cora.

But police spokesman Ritter says pacing traffic with their speedometers can be tough to beat.

"With speed detection devices, by law we're required to give at least 11 miles an hour over the speed limit before we stop them; this way we don't," Cpl. Ritter added.

Meanwhile, some taxpayers blame the politicians whose jurisdictional feud has now made hi-tech speeding devices useless.

"Political squabbles have come to represent Gwinnett and as a Gwinnetian, if I could sell my house, I'd become an ex-Gwinnetian", said motorist Kurt Klein.

Only two Gwinnett County cities can continue to use radar and laser guns at this point.

Loganville's permit is still good for the rest of this year and Braselton can still use them since their territory includes parts of three other counties.

Gwinnett's political service feud has been in court since last March, but a judge could rule on the case at any time.

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