O'Fallon Progress

O’Fallon mayor urges drivers to ‘please slow down’

This portable radar speed monitor was in place in the 300 block of Lucinda Avenue in Belleville, which is in the Kansas Avenue Neighborhood Watch area.
This portable radar speed monitor was in place in the 300 block of Lucinda Avenue in Belleville, which is in the Kansas Avenue Neighborhood Watch area. Tim Vizer

This time of year, with the new school year starting, is especially prevalent and dangerous for speeders. School days bring congestion: School buses are picking up their passengers, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present — especially before and after school. Our children are our most important asset.

Speeding can be the result of several factors — traffic, running late, anonymity, or disregard for others and the law. Whatever the reason, it is dangerous to you and your passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.

We are aware there is speeding in O’Fallon, but unfortunately O’Fallon’s police officers can’t be everywhere in the city at all times in order to catch every vehicle speeding. Our Public Safety Department does their very best (and a tremendous job, I must say) keeping this community safe, and they do not take speeding lightly.

Often the O’Fallon Police Department receives complaints for speeding, usually on residential streets where the 25 MPH speed limit is lower than the main thoroughfares. A couple common phrases we hear are, “I see cars flying by all the time!” or “Cars race down my street!” However, the perception of a vehicle’s speed does not always match with the actual speed of the vehicle. Still, the O’Fallon Police Department is dedicated to proactively solving problems through education and enforcement, including speed complaints. Upon receipt of a traffic complaint involving speeding vehicles, the following steps are taken:

Step 1: We deploy a traffic data collection device for about 7 days to determine if a problem exists and identify peak enforcement times.

Step 2: A radar trailer, which displays the speed of approaching vehicles, is placed in the location of the complaint for about 7 days following the data collection to make motorists aware of their speed without having to be pulled over.

Step 3: Enforcement action by the Patrol Division to increase education for the speed limits and voluntary compliance. Traffic citations are not our first option but can be issued on the officer’s discretion.

The Police Department posts the traffic data at https://www.ofallon.org/police-department/pages/traffic-studies.

Speeding endangers everyone on the road: In 2016, speeding killed 10,111 people, accounting for more than a quarter (27 percent) of all traffic fatalities that year. We all know the frustration of modern life and juggling a busy schedule, but speed limits are put in place to protect all road users.

The simplest message I can convey on my answer to help solve speeding: PLEASE SLOW DOWN.

There is probably not a resident in O’Fallon who has not committed, or observed, speeding. Out of all the topics I am asked by residents, speeding is one of the most frequent. Speeding is also a very popular topic on social media. Speeding is everyone’s responsibly to help manage.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The greatest reduction in speeding will come through public awareness. Please make it a point to speak to your loved ones about the dangers of speeding. And of course, please be cognizant of your own driving habits. PLEASE SLOW DOWN.

As residents of O’Fallon, you should always be able to reach out to your elected officials and ask questions about what is happening in O’Fallon. Having open communications is important to me and something I care very deeply about. Thank you for reading, and please remember, my door is always open!

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