Police to begin safety measures on dangerous stretch of Huntsville road

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- This week, police will begin working on a curvy stretch of road known to cause some problems.

Governor's Drive, from California Street to Monte Sano Boulevard, will be given extra attention in hopes of changing how people drive there. They want to eliminate dangerous traffic problems and improve safety.

"It's just dangerous, and you really need to stay on the ball," said Marion Ratcliff, who has lived in the area for 27 years. He says since the addition of a few traffic lights, it's been much better. But people still take it way too fast in that area, he tells WHNT News 19.

"Between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., it's just terrible," he said. "If somebody is 20 minutes late, they're going to try to make it up on the road... if they just obeyed the traffic laws it would be much better."

That's something Huntsville Police agree with. After several citizen complaints recently, they decided to start working on that section of Governor's Drive. But they won't be doing it in the typical way.

"If would be easy to bring police officers out here and for a week or two, just do nothing but write citations," explained Lieutenant Stacy Bates with the Huntsville Police Department. "But that doesn't necessarily change bad driving behaviors. And it doesn't help the perception of policing. It doesn't help with our rapport that we try to maintain."

They are planning an increased presence there, with speed detection to show drivers the speed limit isn't just a suggestion. Also, "we want to start going more toward education in addition to our enforcement," said Lt. Bates.

He says you'll also see signboards along the mountain with safe driving tips on them, to make people more aware of how speed can contribute to accidents and try to cut down on other behaviors too. Bates says they will remind drivers to keep a safe distance between vehicles, put down cell phones, and wear safety belts.

If this goes well, Bates says they'll do it in other problem areas.

"Hopefully this can be something that we can spread throughout the city," he said.