Archive for Thursday, November 30, 2000

Highway patrol clamping down on K-10 speeders

November 30, 2000

Kansas Master Trooper Howard Dickinson understands why some motorist are tempted to speed on Kansas Highway 10.

The straight four-lane highway invites speeding, Dickinson said, especially for drivers in a hurry to get home.

"A lot of people commute to work and don`t want to spend that much time on the road. They figure they can make their day shorter if they speed up," he said. "People really move out there."

The Kansas Highway Patrol`s Troop A, which patrols K-10 from Interstate 435 to Eudora, has stepped up enforcement on K-10 in response to increased traffic volume, a number of fatality and injury accidents, and citizens complaints -- some of which were routed through the governor`s office, Dickinson said.

"Ninety percent of our overtime hours are allotted to K-10," Dickinson said. "You will notice a larger presence, especially at the beginning and end of shifts."

Troopers aren`t sitting on the median watching traffic. They`re writing tickets, Dickinson said. For example, during two 3.5-hour shifts Nov. 22, troopers made one DUI arrest, 11 moving hazard arrests and issued 54 speeding citations.

Dickinson said the Highway Patrol`s increased presence has made a difference. He estimates the average speed on the road has dropped 1 or 2 miles per hour from the 78 mph he used to see.

But as the Nov. 22 ticket count shows, speeding remains a problem.

"Every shift, we write tickets for motorists driving in the 90s," he said. "You usually see one real close or over 100 mph."

The patrol may take an even tougheer approach in an attempt to slow traffic, Dickinson said.

"We`ve talked about going out there with zero tolerance -- having a few lanes where we don`t give anybody anything and see what happens," he said.

Whether the patrol takes that step remains to be seen. But, Dickinson said K-10 motorists can count on the patrol`s increased presence continuing.

"As long as accidents are happening and people are hauling the mail, we`ll be out there," he said.

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