By JAMIE ERTLE - Georgia Highway 21 stretches through Garden City, Port Wentworth. It's pretty much the main artery of Effingham, Screven, and even Jenkins counties.
Ga. Hwy 21 has also become common place for chases, pit maneuvers and crashes - some of which turn deadly. Speed is most definitely a concern as drivers weave through neighborhoods and around other unsuspecting drivers.
WTOC's Jamie Ertle took to the highway with a specialized traffic unit, expecting to tackle to the artery. But what she found was that their work was also concentrated in the veins of Effingham County also known as the Streets of Speed.
Effingham County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Mundy and WTOC pulled into an empty subdivision off Little McCall Road to check drivers' speeds. Mundy clocked a driver doing 63 mph in a 35 mph zone.
The driver's excuse was that he was going to the doctor. That's actually one of the top five excuses drivers give the sergeant when they're caught speeding. The No. 1 excuse: "I really have to go to bathroom".
With the first violator out of the way, WTOC had some time to train with a lull in traffic. It's not as easy as it looks. You must learn to hold it the correct way, grip it, and line the scope up with the vehicle's headlight or the grill, and then finally clock their speed.
Mundy said Georgia law allows drivers 10 mph of leeway, unless they are in a construction or school zone.
In the almost two years the ESCO Traffic Enforcement Unit has been in existence, officers have written as many as 20 tickets a day, now it's more like five a day.
Mundy said emphatically, "I think overall safety has increased dramatically in this county."
The next road they clock speeders is McCall Road, which goes through the south end of the county to the north end without speeding, and is faster than taking Georgia Highway 21. That's because there are no traffic lights. But drivers gave plenty of excuses including, "I was eating a sandwich" and "I thought it [the speed limit] was higher".
As WTOC wraps up and head back to the office, drivers don't stop speeding. Mundy clocked a driver in his in car radar at 74 mph in a 45-mph speed limit area. Her excuse is Mundy's No. 3: Late for Work.
Traffic Units don't rely on the radar alone; they are trained to eye-ball speeders. That means if it looks like you're doing 20, but the radar says you're doing 40, more often than not the deputy will trust his "human radar" over the mechanical one, which is good news for drivers.
If you have a "Street of Speed" and are concerned for your safety, please contact Jamie on Facebook or get real-time traffic updates from her on Twitter at @WTOCTraffic.