DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Good news for speeders. The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department won't be getting radar anytime soon.
The county has to wait another year before trying to equip deputies with radar. Lawmakers may have killed the bill this year, but that doesn't mean the fight is over.
"Both the House and Senate have told us it will not get out of committee this year," says supervisor Mark Gardner. "The problem is it's very controversial state wide."
But for decision makers in DeSoto County, their minds are made up.
"When you've got people driving in excess of 100 miles an hour on county roads just because they can, what's the use of having speed laws if they can't enforce them?" asks Gardner.
Gardner knows it's an uphill fight, but he's not going to stop his campaign for radar.
"We had seven fatalities in 2011 in unincorporated DeSoto. When you look at the statistics you can attribute all of those to speed," he says. "People are afraid they're going to set up speed traps and use it as a revenue source. That is not the case for us; it's strictly a safety issue."
"It doesn't sound right," says driver Marla Moon. "It sounds like they need it just as much as the urban areas."
"I feel like the less we can keep government out of our lives the better off we are," says Wayne Mitchell, of DeSoto County. "I know that type of thing saves lives, but I think the government is too involved."
Two bills aren't going to pass this year. One would have allowed every sheriff's department in the state to use radar, another just in Desoto County.
"We aren't giving up," Gardner says. "Our sheriff's deputies and our sheriff tell us we need this and we've got the data to support it."
Gardner says lawmakers told him they may consider a law next year that would allow each county to vote individually on radar. They can't do anything this year because the deadline to introduce new bills is passed.