Time to ease off the gas pedal, Blaine drivers.

The city's Police Department will again have a dedicated traffic enforcement division this summer. Three officers who during the school year serve as school resource officers will be back on patrol. That will beef up the department's ability to respond to calls, so dedicated traffic officers will be able to enforce speed limits and the other rules of the road.

Last summer the dedicated traffic program proved successful: Officers made more than 550 stops, issued more than 200 tickets and arrested two suspected daytime drunken drivers.

Police Chief Chris Olson said the goal is to reduce accidents on busy corridors and to respond to residents' complaints about chronic speeding, red-light running and other dangerous driving.

"Our job is to make sure everyone is safe, including the people getting stopped," Olson said.

The traffic division officers aren't the only ones enforcing the rules of the road. The department's three dozen patrol officers also do so when they aren't answering calls. Still, having dedicated traffic officers is helping slow drivers down and curb other dangerous driving habits, Olson said. □