FORT SMITH – Food insecurity will be at the forefront of the Fort Smith City Board of Directors monthly study session, which will be held later today. The discussion stems from an upcoming event that will be held June 3rd and 4th, as the city has been named a pilot community for a project that will deliver data regarding the ready availability of food to its’ citizens.

The Council will also discuss a memo from Interim Police Chief Danny Baker regarding the effect that red light runners are having on traffic in the city. According to Baker, the issue has been a “persistent and running concern” for drivers and the Police Department.

The Department identifies “red light runners” as those who speed up at a yellow light to beat the change to red. The problem is, it isn’t a crime at the current moment.

“This is obviously a dangerous practice, especially on intersections where the cross traffic signal immediately turns green,” Baker explained in a memo. “It is also, for all intents and purposes, running the light. However, it is not enforceable as red light running under Arkansas law.”

The acting Chief says he has a plan to combat the practice, that will require cooperation on all sides.

“To be successful, I believe this will require a multi-pronged approach that must encompass so much more than just enforcement,” Baker said. “Public education, intersection engineering, signal timing studies, legislative changes, distracted driving initiatives, personal accountability and innovative thinking. All must all be considered if we hope to have meaningful impact on this issue.”

The meeting will begin at Noon in the Fort Smith Public Library.


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