Two weeks of enforcement, dozens of citations issued on Seward Highway

(KTUU)
Published: Oct. 13, 2017 at 8:46 PM AKDT
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Going 70 miles per hour on the Seward Highway will most likely get you a ticket.

That wasn’t the case a few weeks ago. Earlier this year Troopers pulled patrols due to state budget cuts and for a short time the highway went without much enforcement.

Most of the responsibilities to patrol the Seward Highway were passed on to the Anchorage Police Department.

However, the force has been limited by law to being able to patrol places within its police service area.

“As chief of police, I think somebody should be patrolling this area. I don’t think it’s right to leave it without any law enforcement at all,” said APD Chief Justin Doll.

That’s why the state stepped in with a $200,000 grant awarded to Anchorage Police for two officers to patrol between mile post 75 and 112.

Since enforcement began on October 1st, police have handed out more than 78 citations and has made 147 traffic stops. And it’s not just ticket they’re issuing.

“It’s just stopping and talking to people to remind them essentially the simple thing like turn your headlights on. That way you’re more visible and safe for people when you get into passing zones and stuff like that,” said Officer Thomas Gaulke with APD’s traffic unit.

Doll said based on monthly spending, the grant will mostly likely keep APD on the Seward Highway until March of 2018.

“As much as I appreciate the grant, which we really do, it gives us the ability to be here. It is sort of a temporary solution so probably the legislature or the assembly are going to have to come up with something that allows us or some other agency to have a permanent presence on the highway,” said Doll.