OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - Speeders beware. You'll need to hit the brakes in Olive Branch.
The police department is coming down hard on speeders, on track to set a ticket writing record this year. Two years ago officers were ticketing around 8,000 drivers. Now the department is on pace to more than double that number.
"I'm the one that always get pulled over." Mark Kelly has been caught speeding twice in Olive Branch. "45 in a 35," he says.
Police are cracking down on speeders and traffic violations of all kinds.
"Speeding, running stop signs, careless driving -- any number of traffic infractions," says Mayor Sam Rikard.
They've handed out almost 11,500 tickets in 2012. At this rate, the department will finish the year with more than 17,000 tickets; that's 3,000 more than last year.
Mayor Sam Rikard says the huge increase can be attributed to two things.
"We moved our police officers to 12 hour shifts instead of 8 hour shifts so they have more time out on street," he says. "We also dedicated two patrol cars to traffic enforcement only."
Rikard says cops aren't out to get drivers. Traffic patrols are part of a bigger plan.
"We hope it reduces the number of traffic accidents because of speed." Plus, more officers on the streets reduce crime. It's down this year.
"If you are driving through Olive Branch with the intent to commit a crime and you see blue lights flashing, we hope you go somewhere else or decide not to commit the crime at all."
For the everyday motorist looking to avoid a ticket, just watch your speed.
"I'm going to keep right in front of my brain," says Kelly.
50 percent of a traffic fine goes to the city, the other half to the state. Not every stop costs a driver. Rikard says 30 percent of those pulled over are given warnings. He estimates the department will hand out more than 6,000 of those this year.