Marion police say new stop signs can increase safety

New stop signs were installed last week at this intersection at Coble and Lawrence streets in Marion. Police officers say they will be watching for stop-sign violators.Four-way stop signs were put in place last week at the intersections of Lawrence and Freeborn, Lawrence and Coble, and Lawrence and Roosevelt streets.

According to Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis, motorists will need to pay closer attention when driving near Marion Elementary School.

?Now that we have (stop signs) and drivers run them, we can catch them,? he said.

Roger Holter, interim city administrator, said the plan to change the traffic flow within the city started this year and will continue into 2014 and 2015.

Other phases, if approved by the council, would include stop signs in the area of Maple and Roosevelt streets toward St. Luke Hospital.

?Traffic would have to stop going east and west to allow an ambulance to get through,? Mermis said.

Even though the first phase of the project was unanimously approved, some council members suggested giving motorists a trial period by writing warnings rather than citations.

However, Mermis said the new stops signs are similar to the seat-belt law regarding warnings.

?We can warn and warn and warn every day, but a lot of people violate that law, too,? he said. ?There?s been enough warnings on that law. It?s time to start writing motorists up.?

For more information about the traffic changes, call the police department at 620-382-2651 or stop by 112 Fifth St.

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