Complaints about speeding in Ceres have increased in recent years but one resident took his concerns to the Ceres City Council in a plea of desperation that something be done.
Police officials say they do what enforcement they can with the limited staffing resources but the real solution lies in getting inconsiderate drivers to being caring about the dangers of illegal speeds and backing off of their gas pedal.
In an effort to get others – particularly young drivers – to reflect on how they are driving, the Courier is giving space to what David King told the council last week:
“I haven’t spoken to you all before. I’m sure Ceres Police Department has heard from me many, many times. I live currently on Canyon Drive between Virginia Parks Elementary School and a park. On every single given day I cannot be out in front of my house without watching cars coming by my house doing 50, 60, 70 mph in a 25 mph speeding zone.
“In the mornings while taking my son to school or in the afternoon bringing him home, there have been several times where I and my son have almost been ran over by these cars. I have called Ceres PD many, many times. They have come out and done what they can do. However, there’s nothing they can do because they have to catch them in the act.
“There has got to be something done about this. I’ve been living there for eight years. For eight years Ceres PD has heard from me. Recently on the 10th of this month one of my pets got out. She wanted to be out in front of me so she figured out how to open her doggy door. So now I have a police report … where a speeding car hit her, they stopped, looked at me and sped away. That was a family pet. That family pet is, just as I said, family, so that is just like my son or my daughter being hit by a car.
“And this is the type of thing that happens every day. I can’t let me son outside to play. I talk to my fellow neighbors; they don’t let their children, many of them, out to play because of these cars.
“I ask of you to do something. Put a light where the crosswalk is. Put speed bumps. Hire more Ceres Police officers so they can be around more. I see them out there giving tickets in front of my house but they can’t be there every day every moment of the day. They put their (speed) trailers. People see the trailer, they slow down, they get past it, they speed up. I watch them. I’m out there every day. I’m retired military, 33 years. I retired here between a school and a park hoping that my son could grow up somewhere nice and clean. I grew up in east San Jose. I didn’t want that for my son and now here he is, I can’t let him outside because cars come around the corners, coming up on the sidewalks, coming up on two wheels, playing dart games, high school students.
“I can go on with story after story after story where I’ve called Ceres PD and they’ve done their part. I now ask the city to please come up with some resolution in that area. I know this is a citywide problem; I get that. But I ask of you to please come up with something, speed bumps, stoplights, something permanent. Give me the right to stop to stop them. I’ve jumped out in front of cars and said, ‘Stop!’ and they drive around me and flip me off as they’re doing 50 mph down my street. I’ve put a thing out there that says ‘Children at Play, Slow Down.’ They run it over and steal it. I’ve been doing my part. Ceres PD has done their part. I now ask the city to do theirs. Please help me.”
Captain Patrick Crane said traffic officers spend time out there to enforce speed laws but he said the city may wish to add a feature that would “alleviate that speeding problem when we’re not out there.”
He noted that police have other problem areas that they must focus on.