Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Top Ten Contributing Factors for Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2014

Continuing on from our post yesterday on the subject of Distracted Driving, we wanted to share with you the factors that were listed by officers during their investigation into each of the 4, 325 crashes last year.

In 2014, 4325 crashes occurred in the City of Overland Park. An analysis of the accident reports revealed the following top ten contributing factors:

1. Inattention - 1036
2. Following to Close - 678

3. Fail to Yield Right of Way - 614

4. Too Fast for Conditions - 307

5. Improper Lane Change - 220

6. Red Light Running - 213

7. Under the Influence - 167
8. Distracted Driver - 103

9. Improper Backing - 98

10. Improper Turn -  96

Although the Distracted Driver is #9 on the list, it goes hand-in-hand with #1 on the list - Inattentive Driving. It's not always easy for the officer to prove exactly why the driver was at fault, nor are people so willing to admit to their miscues.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving is a growing problem throughout the country. "Distraction" is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead. Here are just a few examples of items in our vehicles that can distract our attention away from the road; cell phones, stereos/CD players, MP3 players, satellite radio and GPS devices.

According to the National Safety Council, eighty percent of American drivers believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone, but that is not the case. Multiple studies have shown that hands-free devices are no safer than talking on a cell phone in your hand. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what's around them, such as traffic lights, stops signs and pedestrians.

Here in Overland Park, our mission is to make the streets and highways safer for the thousands of motorists who travel on them each day.  We have always taken an aggressive approach to educate motorists of the importance of distraction-free driving through education and enforcement.  

Let's all continue to do our part in ensuring everyone's safety while travelling on the roadways, whether in Overland Park or driving across the great state of Kansas.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Officer Hawes Assists Teen Task Force With Underage Alcohol Inititive

Last night, Officer Hawes with our Community Policing Unit, assisted the Teen Task Force (through The Regional Prevention Center of Johnson County) with their "Hang Tag" campaign to decrease alcohol sales to minors at liquor retailers in Overland Park. 

The goal of the Teen Task Force is to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors. Members of the task force visited five area liquor retailers last night to hang informational tags on bottles of alcohol inside the businesses. 

See the full press release and photos below for more information.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Flooding Awareness

With the possibility for excessive rain in the area today and through the month of April, flooding will be a major concern as rivers and streams begin to overflow their banks.

Each year more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other weather related events. Careless or unsuspecting motorists who try to drive through flooded roads cause many of these deaths.

Flash floods usually result from intense storms dropping large amounts of rain within a brief period. Flash floods occur with little or no warning and can reach full peak in only a few minutes. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles including SUV’s and pick-ups.

Here are just a few ways to avoid these types of situations:

Flooded roads could have significant damage that is hidden by floodwaters. NEVER drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads.

Barricades are put up in areas that are known to flood. Do not drive around the barricades.

Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers. When it’s raining, make sure you drive with extra care since flooding hazards sometimes can’t be seen until it is too late.

Pay attention to the weather radio and television reports in order to help protect yourself.

If floodwaters rise around a car, abandoned it and move to higher ground if it can be done safely.

Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don't try it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Upcoming DUI SATURATION PATROL Friday 4/3/15

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department is conducting a DUI Saturation Patrol on Friday April 3, 2015.  It is the police department’s goal to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving within the community. 

The DUI Saturation Patrol will begin at 10:00 PM, and the enforcement will not end until 2:00 AM.  The Traffic Safety Unit will hold a briefing at the Myron E. Scafe Building, 8500 Antioch, Overland Park, KS prior to initiating the enforcement.     

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Results of Tuesday's DUI Saturation Patrol

The Overland Park, Kansas Police Department conducted a DUI Saturation Patrol on Tuesday March 17, 2015.  The DUI Saturation Patrol was conducted with the intent to reduce alcohol related auto accidents and discourage impaired driving.  The DUI Saturation Patrol was enforced between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM.   

Please review the statistical results:

3     -    DUI arrests
3     -    Drivers tested for DUI
1     -    Speeding violation 
2     -    Red Light violations
1     -    Suspended Driver’s License
1     -    Driver’s license violation
6   -      No Insurance violations
1      -   Improper turn / Lane violation
10      - Other Traffic violations   
8    -     Total vehicles stopped    


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UPDATE: Arrest of Suspect in Fraudulent Flower and Gift Card purchases

On January 8th, we posted the story below and asked our readers, along with the media, for help in identifying the subjects. Thanks to the help of the public and our media partners, a suspect was developed and a warrant was issued through the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office for Cierra Hill. On March 17th the Kansas City Division of the FBI arrested Ms. Hill.

We want to express our gratitude for the help we received which was instrumental in solving this case. 

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. A criminal complaint merely contains allegations of criminal conduct.

"I'd like to Order the Pick Me Up Flower Bouquet and a $300 VISA Gift Card Please"

If you look closely at the photos we've presented below, you'll notice each one of the ladies is carrying a bouquet of flowers as they exit the store. What you don't see is the gift card they asked to be added to their floral order, usually in the amount of $200-$300.

They were able to order the items using someone else's credit card information, although how they got the info is still under investigation. The amounts on the flowers came to $127 while the total of the gift cards was over $1,500. We're wondering who the lucky recipient is for all those flowers.

In addition, the suspects in this case used the victim's credit card to rack up over $5,000 of charges at several other locations around Kansas City.

The photos and video are four different females who were caught on surveillance video picking up the flowers and the gift cards. We'd like to talk to them. There are also pictures of the vehicles in which they left.

If you can help investigators identify the suspects and/or suspect vehicles, please call the Overland Park Police Department at 913-344-8767 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.