Council to Vote on Alcohol in Parks, Seat Belt Law

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield City Council has a full agenda for Monday night’s meeting – with votes likely on seat belt violations, allowing alcohol in city parks, and stronger laws for pedestrians.

The Council could also take up a vote on whether to make changes to the city’s current trash collection system, although the measure is not currently on the agenda.  See full agenda here 

Seat Belts

Among the proposals on Monday night’s agenda, is a change to the city’s current seat belt violation law.  The change would allow police to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts, as the primary reason for the stop. Currently, officers must have another primary reason for stopping a driver, before citing them for not wearing a belt, or passengers not wearing a belt.  

According to the wording of the ordinance, fines for violating the new law are:  
“Each person who violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this section …. shall be guilty of a violation, for which a fine of $10.00 may be imposed, 64 except that a violation of the provisions relating to a child less than four years of age 65 shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $25.00. All other provisions of law and 66 court rules to the contrary notwithstanding, no court costs may be imposed if court 67 costs have been assessed on any other charge arising out of the same occurrence.”

Download to read the ordinance here

 Alcohol in Parks

The Council could also vote Monday night on whether to allow people to drink alcohol in city parks. That includes public golf courses, softball parks, park pavilions, for special events and others.   There are restrictions and fees would apply in some cases.  Wording in the ordinance indicates the City wants to remain competitive with other private venues:

“The intent of the Park Board is to implement a policy allowing alcohol at various locations and/or events, while tracking its experience and updating its policies, as needed, and ensuring that all operational protocols, safety provisions and security measures are implemented and followed throughout this process. Overall, this action by City Council will enable the Park Board to honor these requests, remain marketable and competitive at its various facilities, attract new activities and events, and provide new revenues for budgets impacted by the sunset of the 2001 and 2006 Park Sales Tax Funds.”

Download to read the ordinance here

Pedestrian Responsibility

New, tougher restrictions on pedestrians who don’t use crosswalks is also up for a vote Monday night.  After a series of car-pedestrian accidents that seriously injured several people and killed others, the Council is seeking to put more responsibility on pedestrians to use designated crosswalks, especially after dark. 

The proposal reads, in part: 

“During the period from one-half 38 hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, no pedestrian shall cross 39 any roadway with a speed limit in excess of 30 miles per hour or any 40 roadway designated by the traffic engineer and listed in a schedule 41 established from time-to-time and placed on file with the City Clerk at any 42 place other than a crosswalk or intersection.

The purpose of this change is to remove the requirement to cross at crosswalks and intersections after dark from areas with lower speed limits and less significant safety concerns, such as residential areas, while allowing the Traffic Engineer to maintain the requirement on higher-risk roadways which have speed limits of 30 miles per hour or less.”

Download the read the ordinance here

Trash Ordinance

And while a proposal to update the city’s trash collection ordinance is not currently on Monday’s agenda, Council members – who tabled the issue two weeks ago – could vote to bring it back up tonight.   The city has been investigating whether to make changes to the trash hauling system, which currently allows citizens to choose their trash hauler on a competitive basis.  Trash haulers and residents have spoken at public hearings, opposing any change to the consumer-driven system.

Read the ordinance in its current form here

Monday’s Council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Historic City Hall, Chestnut and Boonville.  KOLR10 will have full coverage of the meeting at 9 and 10:00 p.m.

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