Speeding on Memorial Parkway? Huntsville Police Are Watching

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It doesn’t take the busy holiday season for Huntsville Police to notice speeding on Memorial Parkway is a constant issue.They say blatant disregard for the speed limit on the Parkway amounts to much more than just the inconvenience or financial burden of a traffic ticket; it’s really a matter of life and death.

"People speed on every inch of every road we've got out here," say one Huntsville Police Department veteran.

It doesn't take long traveling on Memorial Parkway to become all too aware of the collective lead foot.

"People drive 70 miles per hour, 80 -- I've caught one up to 118 miles per hour," says Sergeant Mark Sheehan of the police department's Special Operations Traffic Division.

Sheehan points out the Parkway has a speed limit of 50 miles per hour from the north end of town to the south. He says that specific limit exists for a reason and is not a suggestion.

"The problem with the parkway is the high-speed, the closed in area on both sides -- it's controlled access so if someone locks it down in front of you, you can't just necessarily go off to the side all the time and go to a safe area."

Sergeant Sheehan has been at this more than 30 years but says he never ceases to be amazed at how important drivers think their schedules are. Important enough he says to routinely risk the safety of others.

"They don't realize how much danger is involved, it's not just getting a ticket," says Sheehan. "You're going to wind up getting in an accident that's going to kill you, someone else, or you're going to endanger somebody's life where they'll be altered forever."

Sheehan warns HPD increases presence around areas known as 'hot spots' where police find the most reckless activity usually occurs.

"We can't stop all the accidents but we can find out where the accidents are happening that have life altering injuries or deaths, that's where we try to concentrate."

Sergeant Sheehan says traffic volume and concentration as well as line of sight and visibility all contribute to the 50 mile per hour speed limit on the Parkway, so make sure you obey it.

11 comments

  • JohnsonJones

    Exactly, complete disregard. Going to have to get more serious. Issuing tickets doesn’t get the point across. These people couldn’t care less about getting tickets. The thug trash will just sell more drugs to pay for the ticket and the others will just get their rich daddy pay for the ticket. They don’t care about the dangers, they only care about themselves. If they do get a ticket, they are driving just like they were before within five minutes of getting the ticket. You’re going to have to make them serve hard labor in a military-style prison camp. Might get the point across to these fool idiots. I don’t see the difference between driving with complete disregard for others and standing on the parkway waving a loaded gun around.

  • Bill Baker

    I agree speeders on the parkway need to be culpable for their actions. However Sergeant Sheehan needs to police internally first. I commute to Fayetteville every morning. I have observed, noted squad numbers and videoed HPD units not on call responses running past me in excess of 15 to 20 miles over the posted limits. It happens with great regularity on North Parkway in the early morning hours between 5:30 and 6:00 am. These officers are supposed to set an example and are not exempt from these posted limits unless responding to an emergency call. I have observed these same units with apparently a cavalier attitude towards the posted speed limits. To see the same units over and over again would be indicative that it is not a coincidence that they would be on a call. So to see this article about how HPD is watching us is appalling and then who is watching them and making them culpable for their actions.

  • Willis

    Getting off 565, going south is a headache each and every time. You have people going anywhere from 25 mph to 80 mph.. merging over to where the 3 lanes meet is crazy

  • Waymon

    Yes, I agree that there has been a good revenue measure, as I travel on the South Memorial Parkway, especially, during the going to work hour each morning! But, let us not abuse the ticket writing! There are plenty of opportunities to write tickets for those speeding over 55 MPH!

  • Jimmy R.

    Maybe the speed limit is too low, and that is why people aren’t following it? Obviously if there are too many “speeders” on this highway the limit needs to be raised.

  • Terance Spivey

    It’s nice that police put that sticker with the black line on their personal cars so we can see that they’re just like us, speeding. But since I disagree with the speed limit in that area, I’m not a hypocrite.

  • driving into huntsville...

    When I go to work, squad cars pass me everyday. I am going the speed limit. I think the officers are headed to work. The HPD should follow the rules!

    • Bill Baker

      This morning again videoed one at pkwy and Mastin lake
      so far units 1702, 1656 and 1825 and one other so fast could not get the squad #. This is ridiculous and there is no culpability for these officers They are going to kill somebody. i have driving legally in competition for over 20 years and on these folks are not invincible There are so many tangibles with side streets and real traffic with folks not used to fast closing and overtaking speeds that their actions could be catastrophic. Also folks pulling out in front of them because they don’t have experience in judging speed. And another rookie mistake to run up on a car in the left lane and then fast pass on the right. I believe in academy driving one of the first things they teach you is you make traffic in the left lane yield to the squad to the right. If you fast pass to the right the car in front can react and turn into the unit. I witnessed that Monday Morning.
      But the big question is who do you tell? And who in the dept would actually do something about it?

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