In the Wednesday, August 11, 2010, issue of the Kansas City Star, an article appeared listing the "dirty dozen" most dangerous intersections in Overland Park. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our department's efforts to reduce traffic accidents. Traffic safety is a top priority of the Overland Park Police Department. Significant resources are being utilized to enforce traffic laws and reduce the number of traffic accidents. While all officers assigned to patrol duties play a role in the safe flow of traffic, our Traffic Safety Unit's primary functions are to enforce traffic laws and investigate traffic accidents. The Traffic Safety Unit consists of a Captain, two Sergeants and thirteen officers. When not working traffic accidents, Traffic Safety officers are assigned to enforce traffic laws in and around the city's High Accident Locations.
Year-to-date, Patrol and Traffic Safety Officers have spent over 100 hundred hours conducting enforcement efforts in the twelve intersections mentioned in the KC Star article. Over 850 citations have been issued. Our enforcement efforts have helped to reduce the number of traffic accidents at many of these intersections. For example, in 2008, 26 traffic accidents occurred at the intersection of College Blvd. and Quivira. In 2009, the number of accidents increased to 45. In the first six months of this year, 12 traffic accidents have occurred.
There are a number of factors that have an impact on traffic accidents. They include traffic volume, weather, enforcement, road construction and roadway design. While the Police Department has no control over many of these factors, it is committed to reducing traffic accidents by conducting high visibility traffic enforcement and educating motorists on traffic safety.