A new state law will help law enforcement crack down on traffic violators in Denton County. Speed limits and other traffic rules in some of the county's special taxing districts, like Paloma Creek and Savannah, are merely suggestions and are not enforced.
"We constantly have people drive by quickly or way too fast. It makes me nervous to let the kids out here by themselves. I don't let them out at all," said Shannon Martino, Paloma Creek resident.
"They are merely suggestions, like the speed limits and the stop signs and things like that," said Hugh Coleman, Denton County Commissioner.
Coleman said these special districts can build roads and provide water and sewer services, but can not come up with their own traffic rules because the state considers them entities of limited authority.
"I think it is kind of alarming because our neighborhood is full of little kids who are constantly outside, constantly playing, and there are lots of teenage drivers and people who do not obey the speed limits at all," said Martino.
The Denton County Sheriffs Department compares the roads in these communities to private roads and parking lots. Deputies patrol for crime but do not issue traffic citations.
House Bill 2541 will give residents in these areas the right to ask county commissioners to have traffic laws enforced.
The bill passed both the House and Senate and is waiting for Governor Perry's signature.
"I think it's a good thing. It's a quality of life issue that's very important," said Coleman.