Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2008

Highway patrol to blitz area for KU-KSU football game

Football fans will flock to Lawrence this Saturday for Kansas football's bout with Kansas State. State authorities are making plans for the influx of fans.

October 30, 2008


Accident history

Here's a rundown of the accident history along the South Lawrence Trafficway. The list is the most recent compiled by the Kansas Department of Transportation and does not include recent fatality accidents:

  • 2007: 52 accidents, 10 of which injured 15 people.
  • 2006: 37 accidents, 13 of which injured 19 people.
  • 2005: 46 accidents, nine of which injured 17 people.
  • 2004: 29 accidents, two of which injured five people. One person died in one accident.
  • 2003: 37 accidents, five of which injured 10 people. One person died in one accident.

Kansas Highway Patrol troopers will be lining up Saturday to encourage safe arrival and departure for fans at the annual Sunflower Showdown.

To hear Lt. Robert Baker tell it, the growing roster of highly trained professionals - outfitted with high-speed equipment and impossible-to-miss uniforms - will be serving as attentive traffic referees, working to ensure everyone plays by the rules and avoids avoidable inconveniences, injury or even death.

"There will be extra patrol over there and, believe me, it will be noticeable," said Baker, a Topeka-based supervisor who works on such Roving Aggressive Violation Enforcement, or RAVE, patrols. "If they see a blue uniform out there, it kind of gets their attention: 'I want to do the right thing.' 'I don't want to get stopped.' "

The upcoming RAVE, which coincides with the Kansas-Kansas State football game at Memorial Stadium, is part of a coordinated game plan to boost on-road safety in an area where recent accidents have caught officials by surprise.

Four people have died in three crashes since Oct. 20 along Kansas Highway 10, a run that has spurred government responses as officials await results of investigations into the accidents' causes:

¢ This week, the highway patrol mandated that its on-duty troopers in Franklin and Douglas counties spend at least two hours of each shift on K-10. Of particular focus is the South Lawrence Trafficway, which connects the Kansas Turnpike and the Farmers Turnpike northwest of Lawrence with Iowa Street at the southern end of town. Troopers from other areas of the state are being offered overtime to step up patrols along K-10.

¢ The Kansas Department of Transportation, in addition to financing the troopers' overtime patrols on K-10, is investigating the potential for physical changes to make the trafficway safer. In 2004 the department added signs along some areas of the trafficway, in response to a safety audit. Now engineers are looking at other potential changes - installing rumble strips down the two-lane highway's centerline, for example - that could make a difference.

Even one fatality accident along the trafficway would be unusual, said Kim Qualls, a KDOT spokeswoman. That there have been two in recent weeks - the other occurred on K-10 near Eudora - demands that engineers and others take a detailed look at options.

"You want to address it and see if there's anything that can be done," Qualls said.

Technical Trooper Edna Buttler, who used to have Douglas County as part of her patrol area, said that the Douglas-Franklin County region typically had three or four troopers on patrol at any given time. Additional troopers are being encouraged to accept overtime to bolster the patrol's presence on the entire stretch of K-10.

"We're human. We can't prevent everything from happening," Buttler said. "There's always someone who has to make that last cell phone call, or be asleep, or leave the road for whatever reason and cross the line and have and accident.

"We hope that the increased officer patrol will help lead to preventing those accidents."


flyin_squirrel 9 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence needs the help of State Troopers for drinking and driving. The number of Drunk Driving offenses are way down in Lawrence due to an undermanned police force and the LPD placing a priority on catching underage college kids drinking.It is widely known amoung college students that you are more likely to get an MIP in Lawrence than a DUI. With only 14 police working each night, and two to four in the bar car checking for underage drinkers, there isn't enough police to worry about DUI's. It takes a minimum of two police officers two hours to process a drunk driver. If you have 3 drunks pulled over in one night, that means half your police force is occupied. Just look at the recent number of accidents due to driving impaired, and you will see it is not the LPD's priority.

gerbilsniper 9 years, 7 months ago

so how can they instruct me to stop , ask me to provide my DL and insurance so they can run a warrant check if i have done nothing other than travel down a particular street?

chzypoof1 9 years, 7 months ago

The Wakarusa searches were ridiculous and a violation of those people's rights...even if they were hippies....Technically saturation patrols and checkpoints are also illegal according to the Bill of Rights...but just like everything else in this country, we allow them to "feel safe"hawkperchedatriverfront....Get a life. People are partying and having a good time. Live somewhere else if you don't like it....poof

ku_tailg8 9 years, 7 months ago

Where exactly have you been where you paid $5.10 for a gallon of gas? I don't care what gas prices are. To blame speeding on gas prices is ridiculous. People are going to drive the only way they know how. Granted people may drive more or less depending on gas prices but once you are behind the wheel and the speed limit is 70 mph, not much is going to stop you from doing 80 to 85 if thats what you are used to doing.

monkeyspunk 9 years, 7 months ago

Puff_Dragon:If you are going to bash an LEO by name on here, at least have the courage to use your real name. Coward.

jayhawks71 9 years, 7 months ago

Let the revenue enhancement begin. They have to make the money back to pay all that overtime. Yeah yeah it is all about safety. Slamming on your brakes when you see the cops is more dangerous than everyone going "ten over."

Puff_Dragon 9 years, 7 months ago

Edna Butter-Burger is trying to position herself for promotion, she's doing well as she keeps getting herself in the LJW. She isn't worth salt ass a road troop. She just gets in the way of any investigation and does a lot of kissing up. :' )Of course there is nothing law enforcement can do....people see a patrol car they drive like 'driver's ed' students. But you put gas prices at $2.00 they're going to drive like cube dwellers. These people have no clue what goes on every single day on our roadways. They complain about drivers on our roads but "They are the drivers".The cheaper the gas..the faster they drive. Surely you've seen it or done it yourself. If gas is $5.10 you don't drive 82 mph on k-10 'cause you're all highly educated,,right? If gas is $2.00 ...what the hell you can drive like a rock star..or "drive like you stole it". The cheaper the gas,The faster the speeds."You Can't Handle It".

topflight 9 years, 7 months ago

Puff the magic dragon, you sure seem to know alot about the above mentioned trooper. What, did she take your drunk ass to jail? Pay your fine and shut you face.

terrapin2 9 years, 7 months ago

It sure sounds like Puff_Dragon is puffin' something! And hawkwhatever sounds like a grumpy old man overly concerned about some college students drinking beer before,during, and after a KU football game. Wow! Get a life!

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