Check your speed, Kansas City drivers — a six-state crackdown on speeders begins Friday.
As traffic on Thursday sped past along the Kansas Turnpike in Kansas City, Kan., federal highway officials and law enforcement agencies from the region announced a zero-tolerance enforcement blitz aimed at stopping speeding.
“Clearly, speeding is deadly,” said Susan DeCourcy, regional administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine campaign kicks off Friday and will continue through the weekend. Law enforcement officers from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma will ticket anyone speeding.
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“When we are talking about looking for speeders, we are talking about all kinds of speeders. That includes the commercial vehicle operators,” DeCourcy said.
The goal is to persuade drivers to slow down and draw attention to speed-related fatal crashes. In 2015, 2,964 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in the six-state region. About 27 percent of those crashes were speed-related.
In Kansas, there were 128 speed-related fatalities in 2015. In Missouri, there were 310 speed-related fatalities. In both states, speed-related fatalities accounted for about 36 percent of the deadly crashes.
Highway officials attributed the higher percentage of speed-related fatalities in both states to inconsistencies in reporting fatal crashes and higher speed limits in Kansas and Missouri.
During the anti-speeding campaign, about 220 law enforcement agencies will patrol more than 5,700 miles of roadway looking for drivers who are speeding and showing other forms of distracted or reckless driving.
T.F. Scott Darling III, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said the agency works hard every day to make sure safe trucking moves the economy and safe busing moves loved ones.
“Our goal is to drive the number of fatalities at as close to zero as possible,” he said. “A good place to start is here today at this speed-enforcement campaign.”