Beach Traffic Increase Causes More Patrolling On U.S. Hwy. 331
Local authorities in Crenshaw County say they're out in full force because they're seeing triple the amount of cars than usual coming through Highway 331.
Long lines... and shirts like this one. They're all signs of beach season.
And with that comes a lot of traffic.
The Inland gas station in Crenshaw County is one of the very few gas stations on Highway 331 before hitting the Alabama-Florida line. While the traffic may be a nuissance for some, this business is thriving from it -- so much so, they're having to add on to the gas station.
"We're getting bigger bathrooms, bigger office, bigger everything," Said Liz Holland, who works at the gas station. "Because of all the Florida traffic and how many people come in and out per day and everything. It's just really really busy."
The gas station is located in the Brantley Police jurisdiction, keeping officers even busier. Brantley police say they've had to hire an extra officer because of the increase in traffic. In the last three weeks, they've issued 135 tickets.
"It's almost like their mind is so much on getting to the beach that they don't pay attention to the speed limit signs. The speed limit signs are there, but they just don't pay attention to it," Said Brantley Police Chief, Titus Averett.
But Crenshaw County Deputy, Lee Simmons, says you better pay attention to speed limit signs because Crenshaw County deputies are being paid overtime to patrol the streets and direct traffic.
Simmons has given another 25 tickets himself in the last three weeks.
"We've seen traffic backed up anywhere between 2.5 to 3 miles north of town. The red lights just can't handle them," Said Simmons.
Authorities say the heavy traffic season ends around September.
In the last three weeks, Crenshaw County Sheriff's deputies have issued about 150 tickets. The Sheriff's office says it's busy on a weekday, but they have even more deputies patrolling during the summer weekends.
U.S. Highway 331 has been flooded with beach traffic over the past few weeks -- so much so that local authorities have had to increase patrols in the area -- but all the incoming traffic is helping local businesses. Some are even having to make their stores bigger.