At one point, Williamsburg was having almost 400 vehicle accidents a year.
“The average speed limit is 35 mph. You should not have that,” noted Williamsburg Assistant Police Chief Jason Caddell.
So far Williamsburg police have worked 50 fewer accidents this year than at this point last year, and Caddell recently told the Williamsburg Kiwanis Club that he feels one of the biggest reasons for that is increased traffic enforcement.
Speeding is one of the biggest problems Williamsburg police have, and the department has written about 360 tickets for speeding and about 190 tickets for seatbelt violations so far this year.
“I have seen enough wrecks that I am a firm believer that if you are wearing your seatbelt, then you are less likely to be killed in a wreck. Most of the really bad ones I have seen, they weren’t wearing seatbelts,” Caddell said.
This was part of the message that Caddell delivered as the keynote speaker for the Williamsburg Kiwanis Club’s Sept. 14 monthly meeting, which was held at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center.
Caddell added that the crime rate is down and the number of open cases is down this year, but the call volume is still pretty high due in large part to reckless driving complaints.
Caddell said that the vast majority of driving while under the influence arrests his department is making continue to be drug and not alcohol related.
“People don’t seem to understand that some of the medications that they are taking when it says don’t operate heavy equipment or heavy machinery, we try to explain to them that doesn’t mean a bull dozer. It’s a car,” he noted.
Last month, Williamsburg police made about a dozen DUI arrests and only about three of those were alcohol related.
Since Williamsburg started allowing packaged alcohol sales earlier this year, Caddell said that alcohol-related DUIs have not increased.
“Most of our alcohol-related DUIs are people leaving restaurants in other areas,” Caddell said. “We will catch them on US25W heading south that is where most of our DUIs come from.”
Caddell said police also haven’t seen an increase in calls about domestic disputes since legal packaged alcohol sales started, which is something he thought might happen.
Caddell said that since legalized alcohol purchases have been allowed at stores, he also hasn’t seen an increase in underage drinking.
“Most of the businesses are pretty strict. No matter how old you are when you walk in they have to see your ID,” Caddell said.
Safe place to live
Caddell noted that Williamsburg was recently voted one of the safest cities in Kentucky, and that the University of the Cumberlands was voted one of the safest universities or colleges in the country.
In addition, Williamsburg police also have several programs aimed at helping children.
In addition to the Shop with a Cop program, which takes less fortunate children on $100 shopping sprees at Christmas time, Williamsburg police also teach Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) to all fifth grade students at Williamsburg Independent School.
Next year, the department also plans to start teaching D.A.R.E. to seventh and eighth grade students at the school.
About two years ago, the department started teaching Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training to female high school students at Williamsburg.
“My daughter has had it. She is 15. I think it is really good for girls, who are getting ready to go to college,” Caddell said. “Last year all the senior girls at Williamsburg took the class.”