The ultimate goal of traffic enforcement is to reduce traffic collisions and to protect and save lives. In 2001, the Police Department conducted a survey of all Carmel citizens regarding their needs, perceptions and suggestions of how we can make Carmel a safer place to live and drive. Overwhelmingly, the citizens indicated that traffic was their biggest concern!
Each member of the Operations Division takes a proactive approach aimed at reducing injuries and property damage resulting from traffic crashes. This objective is achieved through education and enforcement of traffic violations that have been contributing factors in past crashes. The Department now has two motorcycle officers that also concentrate on traffic enforcement.
In addition to routine traffic enforcement, officers participate in in specialized programs as the needs arise. Many of our officers are NHTSA Child Restraint Certified Technicians and participate in the Department's "Permanent Child Seat Fitting Station" efforts to protect the children of the community.
Traffic Law Reminder Tips
A common misconception of many drivers is that it is okay to travel in the extreme right "lane", sometimes referred to as an emergency or breakdown lane. This is the lane that is separated from the travel lanes by a solid white line. Unfortunately, many drivers mistake this for a really long turn lane, especially when major intersections like Keystone and 116th Street begin backing up due to rush hour traffic.
The problem is that drivers are not allowed to travel in that lane, even if their intent is to turn further up the road and definitely not from a half a mile away.
True right turn lanes are, by usual design, about 100 feet in length and will be posted as a "Right lane must turn right" or "Right turn only" sign. A final indicator might be that solid white line will angle back towards the right, stopping at the road edge, indicating where you may legally veer to the right to prepare to make your turn. Unfortunately, drivers must remain in the traffic line that is backed up until they reach the true turn lane. If they give into temptation and travel in that far right lane on the other side of the solid white line, they run the risk meeting an officer and, quite possibly, the Carmel City Court Judge! More importantly, when drivers travel in that restricted lane and get into a collision with a vehicle legally pulling over to use that lane or the true turn lane, there is the chance of injury and vehicles being damaged. Our goal is to reduce accidents and protect and save lives.
So, it is the driver's choice: a few extra minutes in line in traffic or a few extra hours (among other extra things) in court.