Police in southwest Georgia have begun cracking down on truck drivers using residential streets as shortcuts after neighborhood watch members demanded help with the ongoing “problem.”

The Branch Road Neighborhood Watch in Albany, Georgia brought up the issue in front of the Dougherty County Commission at a virtual board meeting on Monday, November 2nd, but this wasn’t the first time the issue was at the forefront of resident’s minds. 

“We really need your help,” said Rev. William Reills, who is captain of the Branch Road Neighborhood Watch chapter. “Our problem is the transfer truckers on our streets, which is in violation of our streets. And when they come through, they’re speeding,” he said to Fox 31.

Reills says that as many as 20 trucks a day use the neighborhood as a shortcut to and from Highway 82, and that residents fear for their safety. 

“I’m fearful of one of these days when a truck would have an accident, and people walking and ride their bikes up and down this road,” Revill said. “When those big trucks coming through running fast, just up and blow you off the road.”

“It is a residential area that goes through and with truckers speeding, yeah they can cause fatalities or cause a wreck,” said Police Chief Kenneth Johnson. “Somebody pulling out of their driveway and they are speeding up that road knowing that they are not supposed to be on that road.”

Even prior to Monday’s meeting, police have been attempting to more thoroughly enforce the ‘no trucks’ rule, which is indicated by signs along the roadway.  Within the last week Chief Johnson says 4 citations have been given out to drivers violating these signs by Dougherty County Police.

In addition to safety concerns, residents and law enforcement are concerned about the road conditions, as Branch Road was not designed to withstand vehicles above 36,000 pounds. 

“If we’re doing anything wrong or anything we shouldn’t it will be corrected, “said Hugh Nall, president of local trucking Company Southern Ag, which has not been identified as one of the companies ignoring the ordinance. “We have a do right policy and the number one concern is the safety of the American public.”

Johnson says that there are plans to enlarge the signs clearly stating the city ordinance, which should help deter truck drivers who claimed to be unaware that they were violating the ordinance. 

“We’re making the signs larger, so they don’t have that excuse,” Johnson said to Albany Herald. “We sent a supervisor to talk to fleet managers to let them know it’s being enforced.”