Metro-East News

State Police bust dangerous drivers on Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

A number of accidents on the bridge this week have police concerned about dangerous driving on the new Mississippi River span.
A number of accidents on the bridge this week have police concerned about dangerous driving on the new Mississippi River span. tvizer@bnd.com

Illinois State Police troopers are making a push to crack down on dangerous driving on the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

According to state police spokesman Calvin Dye Jr., there have been 10 traffic accidents on the bridge and its on ramps and exits since Monday.

In an hour Friday morning, 12 drivers on the bridge were cited for speeding — one going 86 mph, 30 mph over the legal limit — and several others were going 80 mph or faster. Two speeders were arrested on unrelated warrants; one person was ticketed for having no insurance; one person was caught with a suspended license; and another didn’t have a valid registration, according to police.

“The first six weeks that bridge was open, we didn’t see a single crash,” Dye said. “But it seems that people have been becoming complacent, and it’s causing a lot of problems. Someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed if people don’t slow down and pay attention to what they’re doing.”

Dye said, in addition to speeders, police are looking on and around the bridge for distracted drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road, because they’re too busy with their cellphone or other electronic devices.

In Illinois it is illegal to hold a cell phone or other electronic device in your hand while operating a motor vehicle. Hands free communication is allowed.

Dye said State Police plan to continue their enforcement push on the bridge at undisclosed times.

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