SUNNYVALE (CBSDFW.COM) – Driving through Sunnyvale it’s hard to miss the orange cones. Construction projects are well underway and the town is proud of it’s recent growth, but it’s still a small town.
Around the community which borders Mesquite, people know each other. They also know someone who has been pulled over.
“Well my husband got pulled over just a month ago, “says Lisa Marie Rainwater who lives in Sunnyvale “You have to be very careful through this area.”
Another driver by the name of Jan from Mesquite says, “I’ve got two of them actually in Sunnyvale.”
Sunnyvale doesn’t have a police department, so the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department enforces traffic. From February to almost the end of April this year deputies issued 2,639 traffic tickets. Most of them along the frontage road of Highway 80 in a construction zone.
“The speed limit is 35, we are getting cars going 45, 55, 65 – 70 mph through that area,” explains Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.
Sheriff Valdez says construction workers worried about their safety and asked for the stepped up enforcement. She also says the number for last year this time may not be as high.
“Sunnyvale is a gateway, and we have a lot of passenger traffic through this town,” says Scott Campbell, who is the town manager “We are seeing a lot of growth as far as families moving to this area.”
Campbell says he doesn’t think the traffic tickets for his town are high, “The question is ‘Are the tickets justified?’ Out of the sampling I’ve done, out of the situation, they are good tickets. They are not frivolous citations.”
The North Central Texas Council of Governments says Sunnyvale’s population is just over 5,000. According to the same population estimates the city of Roanoke has a thousand more residents, but during the same time period issued a thousand fewer tickets 1,641. That was also during a race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’m not apologizing for us saving lives, they are going through there way too fast,” explains Sheriff Valdez.
Dallas County doesn’t get any money from the tickets, but it does go back into the town and a general fund which pays for road projects and even the contract with the sheriff’s department.