NOBLESVILLE — Police are increasing their presence in Downtown Noblesville in an effort to educate drivers and prevent crashes on already congested streets.
Brian McCarley, who has lived in the Hamilton County city for 35 years, said he has noticed an increase of police patrols in and around downtown in recent weeks.
"It's almost scary to be a pedestrian downtown people running red lights, driving too fast," he said. "One morning on the way to work, I noticed nine people pulled over in a 20-30 minute period driving around town."
Noblesville police say it's part of an effort to catch people who violate traffic laws by speeding and running red lights and stop signs.
"I think most people want to follow the rules and do a pretty good job of following the rules of the road. I think we are distracted and in a hurry. We may push the red light or the yellow light a little too far or push the speed limit too far, don't quite come to a complete stop at the four-way," McCarley said.
Eugene Clark is a regular at downtown businesses. He said he hopes police will improve safety in the area after he was involved in a crash.
"I got hit by a semi," Clark said. "I was waiting to make the left turn from 8th Street onto Logan. The semi side swiped me."
Noblesville police want to remind drivers that the speed limit downtown is 20 miles per hour. But, typically, they see drivers going around 30 miles per hour. They say that is dangerous not only for other drivers on the road, but also pedestrians.
"Trying to walk. Even if you are in the crosswalk, you take your life in your own hands by doing that. You have to not only be a defensive driver, but a defensive walker," McCarley said.
Police said there is a reason there are three traffic lights close together on Conner and Logan Streets. It's to slow down traffic. To improve downtown safety, they want pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and always use crosswalks.