After complaints from businesses and pedestrians almost being hit in Byron, police are cracking down on drivers to enforce a new ordinance.
Drivers leaving the main roads have become a problem.
“It happens nearly every day, afternoon rush hour,” said Claud Pulliam.
In violation of a recent city ordinance, drivers are leaving the main roads to drive through parking lots or other private property to avoid busy intersections and red lights.
It happens so often at Claud Pulliam's son's landscaping business, Hedge Row Landscaping, that they've considered putting up traffic cones at rush hour so people don't get hurt.
“Sometimes we've got kids running around here and it's just not a good idea,” Pulliam said.
He also said he’s seen several near-miss accidents as people rush through the parking lot as customers are trying to leave.
Byron Police agree, which is why they've given more than 40 warnings to drivers since the ordinance was passed a few months ago.
Lt. Bryan Hunter says soon it'll be ticket time.
“If we stop the person and we say okay they haven't had a warning for this before, let's give them one now. If they've been warned for it before, then it's time for them to get a ticket,” Hunter said.
Hunter also says it's a known safety hazard.
“You know, going through the parking lot you don't know if a kid's running out from behind a car or anything else. If you're in a hurry, you're not going to see that,” he added.
Byron Police say although no one has gotten hit, it is just a matter of time.
Hunter says the ordinance came to mind after a handful of businesses around city intersections started complaining about the problem, including Hedge Row Landscaping.
Now, it's illegal and could land you a ticket, so follow Pulliam's advice.
“They need to just stay on the road,” Pulliam said.
Or else your shortcut could cost you.
Hunter says patrol officers will be keeping a closer eye on problematic parking lots to stop people from breaking the law.
Byron police said it’s also a problem at gas stations and fast food locations near the Byron I-75 exit.
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