SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department (SPD) has handed out 30 percent more speeding tickets when compared to last year. But speeding is still leading to almost half of the city’s deadliest crashes this year.
“We’ve had 23 fatality crashes,” Sergeant Steve Ramey said. “28 people, unfortunately, died in those 23 crashes. I know for certain ten of those crashes were as a result from speed.”
Most recently, a passenger in a car died when a driver was going 100mph near National and Sunshine and rammed into a stalled car.
“In that particular case, it’s 40[mph] through there,” Ramey said. “We’re constantly seeing 60 to 75 miles per hour. That 100mph mile on sunshine was pretty significant. If we would’ve got him stopped, he probably would have went to jail for that.”
Ramey said on any street in town, officers do not have to wait long to catch someone speeding.
“The enforcement is our way to educate the people,” Ramey said. “I know it sometimes is not the best to get a ticket from an officer, but if you think about it, if we’re stopping you and writing you that ticket, we might have just prevented you hurting somebody or hurting yourself going that fast.”
Some residents from the outlying area said speeding drivers make them want to avoid Springfield.
“I have very big anxiety coming and driving to Springfield, especially with my kiddos in the car,” Halfway resident Hillary Patton said. “It’s a lot different than your two-lane road and people just kind of taking their own pace here. It seems like everybody’s busy doing something.”
SPD is focusing enforcement efforts on high-crash areas.
“Campbell Republic is a high crash area,” Ramey said. “So you might see a lot of officers out there enforcing speed enforcement, lane changes, following too close, just things like that are going to keep people to slow down and stop the crashes.”
Some drivers think speeding tickets are necessary to stop people from driving fast.
“All you have to do is go down 65 or even Glenstone and speeders pass you,” Fair Grove resident Margaret Bowles said. “I think that they could give more speeding tickets. And yes, if I got one, I’d be upset. But it’s the way it should be.”
SPD said this is a continuing effort, which includes giving tickets to motorcyclists who speed and drivers who speed in work zones.