Speed Busters: Former St. Pete cop worried about speeding in his neighborhood

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – You know there’s a big problem when a professional speed buster calls WFLA speed buster Leslee Lacey for help.

Leslee got a call from Dale, who is a retired St Petersburg police officer who has a traffic radar certification.

Dale spent years writing speeding tickets in St Pete. He’s certified in spotting lead foots. So, when he told Leslee that speeders were running rampant along 9th Avenue North, she knew there would be a problem.

“I’ve been in this neighborhood almost 28 years. 9th Ave has always been a speed problem,” said Dale as he pulled out his speed gun.

“I haven’t even started talking to you and 51 mph,” she said.

“That’s a low average. That’s a very low average for 9th Avenue North,” said Dale.

Then, Leslee started speed busting.

“Another 50,” and those speeds continued.

“Goodness gracious that red car, SUV, 58 mph, 58 mph! The speed limit is 35 here on 9th!” said Leslee.

Dale has been tracking the speeding for years. He sent a request to the mayor’s action line.  It’s been years since they conducted a traffic study and he asked that they revisit that.

Meanwhile, the speeding continues in his neighborhood. But, Dale thinks he knows the solution.

“I think there should be an engineering solution. I’ve suggested it and know the neighborhood has suggested it to the city over the years and the city keeps pushing it back to selective traffic enforcement which does help, when they are here.”

And they have been here. St Pete PD has issued 44 speeding tickets between 41st and 49th streets within the last six months.

“Everybody is speeding, ok everybody is speeding. I have not seen one go 35 mph,” said Dale.

Leslee took Dale’s concerns to Mike Frederick at St. Petersburg’s Department of Traffic Engineering. Frederick says the last speed study there was in 2003. So, he agreed to have another study completed.

Leslee also contacted Ben Kirby with the City of St Petersburg. He says they will look into having a solar speed pole installed along 9th Avenue, which is another thing Dale wanted.

Dale was with the St Pete police department for 25 years. He preferred that we only use his first name.

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