Traveling through Sealy is about to become a little different in the coming weeks.
The Sealy City Council last week adopted an ordinance lowering the speed limit on Meyer Street from Interstate 10 to Schmidt Road to 35 mph. Drivers who violate that speed limit – or any other in town – could find themselves receiving a ticket from an officer using a handheld ticket writer. These and other law enforcement items were discussed by the council on April 9.
Following the meeting, Sealy Police Chief Jay Reeves talked about the various initiatives. He said the lowering of the speed limit stems from a Texas Department of Transportation study and is designed to both reduce the number of traffic accidents on that span of road and to reduce the severity of collisions that do occur.
“We’re looking at what we can do to alleviate some of those crashes down there,” Reeves said.
Currently the speed limit on the highway ranges from 45 to 50 mph. Another thing the council would like for TxDOT to do is make the blinking traffic light on Meyer Street and the one on Loop 350 regular traffic signals. Reeves added that would also help reduce accidents and their severity.
The handheld ticket writers are a proposal from the Sealy Municipal Court. Along with an upgrade in ticket writer printers, the handheld units would speed up time on traffic stops as well as speed the process of getting ticket information into the court’s computer system. The items would come from the court’s technology fund but be used by the police department.
“There’s a lot of agencies going to handheld ticket writers and they seem to work well,” Reeves said.
The court also wants to create a warrant officer/bailiff position. That person would be a Sealy police officer whose salary is paid by the court.
“We had it before and it worked really well,” Reeves said.
Currently, off-duty police officers serve as bailiffs during court. Reeves said the court dockets are getting longer and it’s becoming more difficult to fill all the shifts. The officer would also work on the backlog of over 7,100 warrants. Reeves said most of them are traffic violations from people who live outside of the community.
The court has also requested that protective ballistic film be placed on the windows of city hall and the municipal court for added security.
In other action by the council: