Slooow down to avoid a ticket in KC police crackdown on speeders

05/27/2014 4:45 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Getting a speeding ticket is a big hassle — and expensive.

Fines, higher insurance rates and points assessed on driving records are all probable outcomes of being pulled over by the police.

Avoiding a ticket is easy: Slow down and obey the speed limit.

Yet motorists zip around every day in the metropolitan area, often ignoring the posted limits on side roads, main thoroughfares and freeways.

They endanger the safety of students in school zones, pedestrians and other motorists.

So it’s appropriate to see the Kansas City Police Department bolster its traffic enforcement efforts. This is a reasonable way to encourage safer driving, penalize those who don’t follow the law and — yes — raise revenue to provide public services.

As The Star reported this week, the number of speeding tickets handed out by the police has been rising and could go even higher with a new effort aimed at traffic safety.

That’s responsible, especially if officers target the most risky drivers , given the safety threats posed by speeders and drivers who disobey traffic signals, fail to yield and break other laws of the road.

In addition, the new mandate that all 900 or so patrol officers strive to issue at least one moving violation a day can help in other ways, such as catching people who have outstanding warrants for more serious crimes.

The focus on speeders comes at a time when another city initiative to improve public safety on the streets — the use of red-light cameras at dangerous intersections — is in limbo.

Missouri lawmakers recently failed to approve a new law that would have allowed cities to issue tickets for running red lights without assessing points. Some city officials have discussed adopting strict state law, which requires points to be assessed along with face shots of drivers.

Because the cameras have succeeded in reducing dangerous accidents, continuing to use them would make sense.

No matter what happens with the cameras, the Kansas City Police Department should be diligent in its efforts to protect public safety, including enforcing speed limits and ticketing other violations.

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