Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Seeing Orange

As you drive in any direction on US69 Highway from I-35 to W. 119th Street, you can see the tremendous amount of progress Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has done on the roadway. This construction project has been the result of one of the largest federal stimulus projects in metropolitan Kansas City.

If you’ve driven on that particular stretch recently, you may have noticed that most of the construction appears to be completed and all lanes were essentially open. You’ll also notice that there are still the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit signs with orange and black WORK ZONE signs posted all along that route.

I bring this to your attention because the Traffic Safety Unit has received several complaints of drivers who were speeding well in excess of the construction limit of 55 miles per hour.

During the last four months, there have been over 70 accidents on that stretch of highway. A majority of these accidents can be directly attributed to drivers not allowing enough stopping distance, or following too closely.

KDOT has advised they are still working in that area and need to shut down lanes on an “as needed” basis. Construction along that corridor will continue into 2013 as they work on the section between I-435 Highway and W. 119th Street.

Beginning this week, Traffic Safety Officers are going to step up their enforcement efforts along this area of US69 Highway. Countless studies have shown that driving in excess of the posted speed limits greatly increases the chances for accident and injuries. Studies have also provided information which indicates enforcement efforts help slow down drivers and, thus save lives.

The fine for speeding 10 miles over the limit in Overland Park Municipal Court is $101, and getting stopped in a construction zone greatly increases that amount.

Allow yourself a little extra drive time in these areas and a little extra space between yourself and the car in front of you. You’ll be miles ahead in the long run.