Conway prosecutor orders Damascus to stop highway traffic enforcement | Arkansas Blog

Conway prosecutor orders Damascus to stop highway traffic enforcement

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ORDERED OFF HIGHWAY: By prosecutor in speed trap case.
  • ORDERED OFF HIGHWAY: By prosecutor in speed trap case.
Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland of Conway has ordered the city of Damascus to stop enforcing traffic laws on highways in the city.

Hiland, in conjunction with Legislative Audit and others, had determined earlier that Damascus was in violation of the state speed trap law because more than 30 percent of city revenues came from traffic enforcement along U.S. Highway 65, which runs through the heart of the small town.

The city has said it does not operate a speed trap, but it endeavors to protect residents from speeders on the U.S. highway, which has a 45 mph limit on the 1.6 miles through Damascus. It contested the figures compiled as well.

After considering the findings, Hiland said he'd decided to order city police to cease patrolling the highway for a year. In the order, signed Tuesday, he said he'd arranged with the State Police and Faulkner and Van Buren County sheriffs to provide highway patrol in the interim.

He also said Faulkner County Judge Jim Baker had initiated a request for a red light on U.S. Highway 65 and state Highway 124. He said a red light on Highway 65 at either Highway 24 or Highway 285 would "permanently ameliorate the public safety concern with excess number of vehicles exceeding the speed limit."

Damascus City Attorney Beau Wilcox responded in a prepared statement to KATV in which he said the city would contest the sanctions because of the "implications they would have on the safety of the community."

He said the City Council had authorized him Tuesday night to contest the action in circuit court and hoped to do so today.

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