Archive for Wednesday, August 17, 2011

K-10 panel to recommend higher fines, tougher enforcement

August 17, 2011

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— A committee studying the safety of Kansas Highway 10 from Lawrence east to Interstate 435 agreed Tuesday night to ask the Kansas Legislature to designate the four-lane highway as a “highway safety corridor” to increase fines for traffic infractions and allow for additional enforcement on the busy commuter road.

Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, attended the meeting in Eudora and indicated he would begin working on a bill to propose for the 2012 legislative session.

“It’s my understanding this would mean enhanced enforcement and increased fines so that we make people aware that we have a safety issue here, and we’re serious” about drivers obeying the speed limit and traffic laws, said Rick Walker, a De Soto city council member.

It was the first concrete recommendation from the committee formed in the wake of the April 16 cross-median crash near Eudora that killed two of the city’s residents, including 5-year-old Cainan Shutt.

Gov. Sam Brownback has ordered the Kansas Department of Transportation to work with Douglas County and Johnson County residents and officials to study KDOT’s policy for placing cable median barriers on K-10 and make other safety recommendations.

Clay Adams, KDOT’s northeast Kansas district engineer who is co-chairman of the committee with Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson, said other states have targeted dangerous stretches of highways with higher fines and tougher enforcement. Hopson said after the meeting he also planned to ask the Eudora Police Department to patrol for speeding drivers more on the portion of K-10 that is in the city limits.

Members of the Johnson County Commission last month proposed a pilot project to install a cable median barrier along two portions of K-10 where more than one cross-median fatality crash occurred since 2000 — a two-mile stretch near K-10 and Kansas Highway 7 in Johnson County estimated to cost $250,000 and the one-mile portion in Eudora near the April 16 accident estimated at $125,000. Johnson County as part of the plan would provide the state with 20 percent of the funds for the Johnson County stretch.

Adams also said Tuesday KDOT has asked Dean Sicking, a University of Nebraska civil engineering professor, to study one-mile stretches of the state’s four-lane roads and identify dangerous “hot spots” that might be candidates for a cable median barrier due to the number of accidents and other factors like speed.

Cainan Shutt’s grandmother Carie Lawrence, a committee member, said hundreds of people have signed a petition asking the state to install cable median barriers because they believe K-10 is an unsafe highway. KDOT officials have said cable median barriers won’t stop all injuries and deaths.

“I’m not here to say we don’t want to put cable median barriers up on K-10,” Adams said. “We just want to make sure that if we do we don’t create a problem worse than what we have out there now.”

Adams also told committee members KDOT has awarded a $4.3 million bid to Hamm Co. of Perry to begin work on expanding shoulders on K-10 in Douglas County and installing rumble strips on the inside shoulder meant to alert drivers who veer onto it. The project, scheduled to begin in September and end Nov. 4, also includes milling and repaving of the driving lanes.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 3 years, 8 months ago

Dear Government, There is a problem on K10. Inattentive drivers, drivers under the influence, sleepy drivers, and even some elderly drivers have crossed the median causing head-on collisions killing innocent drivers and passengers. We believe a cable barrier would prevent some of the deaths. Signed, The People

Dear People, We have studied the situation. We will increase patrols and fine speeders. Yes, we know that speeding was not the cause of any of the cross-over crashes. However, the cross-over crashes have provided your government with the opportunity to increase sin taxes (speeding fines). Thank you for expressing your concerns and allowing us to provide an unrelated, yet profitable, answer. Signed, Your Government

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

"speeding was not the cause of any of the cross-over crashes."

That statement is difficult to believe, in fact it is ridiculous. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the smaller the margin of safely. That is a basic.

A tire blowout or other mechanical problem at higher speeds gives very little opportunity for corrective action, and so avoiding an accident is not always possible.

Another thing is that if a car crossing the median towards you is not traveling as fast, it is much more likely that you will be able to take evasive action and thus avoid an accident.

There's another factor as well. Accidents when vehicles are traveling at higher speeds are much more likely to result in serious injuries or death.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding. A fine for breaking the law is not a "sin tax". It is a penalty for breaking the law.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I might feel differently about the subject if I did not know over a dozen people who are now dead because they were driving to fast.

It goes with age. The older you get, the more people you know that are dead because they were driving to fast.

Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is "too fast"? Is the number the same for a nice new Ferrari and a 1990 Plymouth Voyager? Is the number the same for Danica Patrck and an 80 year old grandmother?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

"Perhaps you can locate some history of K10 crossover crashes that were the result of speeding?"

Accident analysis after the fact is not an exact science.

However, it is usually the case that the vehicle that crossed over the median was in the left lane, that is, the fast lane.

And there's another point also. If the vehicles had not been traveling so fast, the accidents would not have been fatal.

nut_case 3 years, 8 months ago

Ron - I think you are misunderstanding "contribution" and "cause". If speeding were the "cause", then we'd expect all the vehicles "speeding" to be involved in a cross-over accident. In fact just the opposite is true - the majority of vehicles on K10 probably do exceed the arbitrary number posted on a sign, yet 99.9999+% are not involved in a crossover accident.

Likewise cracking down on "speeding" - exceeding some arbitrary number posted on a sign - will not substantially affect the accident rate. Even looking at all accidents, the rates are well above 1 in a million. Is it likely that one person in a million would be pulled over immediately before the crash? No.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Within three seconds, I thought of three very gentle curves on highways that have had quite a few multiple fatalities because the driver failed to negotiate a curve because he was driving to fast.

And then there was another spectacular one when a car became airborne going on a highway that didn't even curve. The depressing thing about that was that the car was a brand new Corvette that had less than 100 miles on the odometer. Fatal.

Oh yes, and then there's a friend's front yard right here in town. Seems there's a problem with cars lifting into the air in front of his house, and then when they land their front wheels are not pointed straight anymore. Fatal.

Speeding? Naw, didn't have a thing to do with it.

nut_case 3 years, 8 months ago

Nope - I think you're still confusing 'cause' and 'contribute'. "...failed to negotiate a curve because he was driving to[sic] fast." - You're only looking at the end result, which does little to solve the initial problem.

By 'too fast' - I'll assume you mean faster than a number posted on a sign. This shows the driver was not regarding that number, so you think they would regard a number even lower? No. Would that have stopped the accident if the sign read "Speed Limit 1MPH" No.

So is this a blind curve the driver can not see - if so, better signage may be needed. Was the driver going too fast for conditions, then the driver needs better education. Was it a mechanical failure, perhaps the car needs a safety recall. Was the driver impaired - then measures need to be taken.

Your argument is like saying "Everyone who has been in a wreck has had substantial levels of dihydrogen monoxide in their system...ban using dihydrogen monoxide while driving" While the statement is entirely true, the ban will have little effect on the accident rate.

http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

The 3 gentle curves that I was thinking about that have resulted in so many fatal accidents are all on perfectly level terrain, they are not blind curves at all.

One of them is Highway 36 in Kansas, just before the Colorado line. It is perfectly flat terrain for a lot of miles in each direction, but I'm not sure exactly how many. But it's at least 5 or 10 miles.

The other is Highway 27 between Goodland and Wheeler. There are exactly 2 gentle curves in a 25 mile stretch of perfectly straight and well maintained highway. Both of those curves are well marked with warning signs.

There have been multiple fatalities at both of them, and I believe that with some cars, it would not be at all difficult to travel through them at 100 miles per hour. Actually, I'm sure it's been done.

But, if you're not paying attention, you're not going to make it. Traveling just a bit slower would have given the drivers a bit more time to notice that the road curved.

But, for most of them it doesn't matter anymore, because they're dead.

BrentS 3 years, 8 months ago

I'd submit that the cause of those fatal accidents is inattentive driving, full stop. A driver who's texting somebody on their phone or reading their Kindle (I've actually seen this, on K-10 -- lady damn near killed me) while whizzing along at 80+ still has such drastically slowed reflexes that the additional time to react they'd gain by sticking to 70 doesn't make a shred of difference. The only appreciable difference between the fast driver and slow one is that the fast driver is going to crash harder.

Susan Mangan 3 years, 8 months ago

I find it a little difficult to believe that the drunk and/or stoned guy, who is about to cross-over and crash, is going to stop and think, "Wait! The fine will be higher here, if I do that...better not." But, maybe that's just me.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 8 months ago

They should fill the medians with cats.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Fill the medians with cats?

Do you have any idea how many people would drive onto the median to run over them, because they hate cats so much?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

"Why not fill the median w/ sand?"

That might work rather well. Have you ever seen the runaway truck ramps on some downhill grades in the Rocky Mountains?

Pete_Schweti 3 years, 8 months ago

...because that would be ridiculously expensive, impractical and there would be no way to keep the sand in the median? Just a guess.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

The problem with putting sand in the median would be that over time, weeds would grow in it, and dust and other organic material would settle there. And so, after a period of time, a sand bed in the median would not differ all that much from the surrounding terrain.

I'm from western Kansas, and we know all about that out there.

The runaway truck ramps in the Rocky Mountains are constantly maintained for that very reason.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Raise the fines to obscene amounts of money. Let the people speed....but make them pay for it and then take their license away for a time.

72mph is more than sufficient to get from Lawrence to Kansas City. If you're in that big a hurry....leave earlier.....get a job in Lawrence....suck it up. The more you flash your lights at me, the more I'm likely to continue on. "Officer it was not possible for me to move from the left lane to the right lane as the general speed of traffic in that right lane was slower than it was in the left lane. Also that fellow behind me was doing 85+ mph. Isn't that above the lawful limit? Was K-10 made one of the 75mph roads?" "I understand Citizen. You have not broken the Kansas Law. Have a nice day."

Flash them lights....ride that bumper....sooner or later you're going to regret it. When I finally do let you pass me, I'm capturing your license plate and then phoning it in to the Sherrif and the Highway Patrol. Hands free of course.

John Hamm 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually there is a law on the books - last year IIRC - stating you aren't to drive in the left lane on 4-lane highways, except those within cities - or you face getting ticketed. It was intended to help prevent Alceste from causing more problems. Drive in the left lane, 5 to 10 mph under the limit, in close proximity to the auto in the right lane so other vehicles can't pass...... Goofballs!

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

...but I follow the LETTER of that very law and am going faster than the cars in the right lane (Didn't you read the play I wrote between myself and the Officer of the Law?). I have as much right on the left as any jack mule going 85. As I said....leave earlier; get a job in Lawrence; take the turnpike; etc. It's not my problem.

Derek Broksieck 3 years, 8 months ago

Using your idiotic train of thought, if the car is going faster than you in the left hand lane, you need to merge over to the right hand lane since you are traveling slower than the car behind you. Last time I checked, it is not up to you to police how fast cars travel. Also, I would like to offer you my username because you fit it very well.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Nah....you can slow down until I see the right lane is moving nice and normal....like at 65mph or a tad bit more. Meanwhile, I'll keep going by them right lane cars while I is in the left hand lane. Beats swinging around 'em on the right shoulder.

I own I am a dumbkansan. Is that supposed to hurt my feelings? Everybody who chooses to live in Kansas is "dumb". That's a no-brainer and pretty dumb in and of itself. It's Kansas. Deal with it.

Mike Hoffmann 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I am sure the police jump right out of their chairs when someone calls them and reports someone for how they drive. They probably go to their home and break the door down. Do you really think anything will happen if you call them? If it did, I could call in the license plates of everyone I don't like for driving infractions.

gatekeeper 3 years, 8 months ago

i can say from talking to an officer that if you call them reporting someone's driving, they do nothing. The police must witness the person breaking the law to take action.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

I can say that from actually doing it, it produces results....particularly during times when both Sherrif and Highway Patrol are on that K-10 corridor. Particularly. Too, during the "commute hours" the number has always worked....or seems to have.....while I cannot state categorically that a specific vehicle got the ticket, some fool certainly did.

I'm all for making the fine $500...if not more......

HardwoodGoat 3 years, 8 months ago

"When I finally do let you pass me"……..IDIOT, MOVE!

Ewok79 3 years, 8 months ago

+1 Laudacris said it best "Move B*%ch, get out the way!!"

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

People in a HURRY are very prone to stroke and heart attack. Something to think about. Leave for "work" earlier and lay off the caffeine. Put on some Yani or Celine Dion and have a nice day. NPR on the radio even.

But leave for work earlier.....best solution of 'em all. Ya avoid traffic and all us old folk out for a Sunday drive on a Friday morning!

FieldTested 3 years, 8 months ago

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Attitudes like yours are a major cause of road-rage, which makes everyone driving K-10 less safe. Take some personal responsibility for your actions, and let others do the same. And IIRC, under KS law, failure to move right is a moving violation, while driving less than 10 over is not.

labmonkey 3 years, 8 months ago

You Alceste are the cause of road rage and make roads less safe. You will lose your cockiness one of these days when someone brake checks you and you rear end them, giving you the at fault accident.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Since I allow one car length per 10mph as I motor about the speedway....that's 7 car lengths when I'm going 70mph...I rather doubt I'm going to find myself in that scenerio.

Perhaps the children might want to slow down: leave for work in at a proper time; allow for exiegency based travel happenings; ease up on them $10 Starbucks; etc. It ain't me babe......

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh yeah, labmonkey...."roadrage" is an act a person CHOOSES to commit....ain't nobody making nobody do nothing. Too, if a person is prone to road rage, I rather suspect their prone to other manner of violence amongst civil society.

People need to get their Yani CD's or their Celine CD's and rock out at 72mph. Works great!

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 8 months ago

Keeps you busy when you're not busy reporting your neighbors for unshoveled walks, right?

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

It's too cold to do that. I focus on the neighbor cats who come and go as they please, so keep the animal control officer occupied. Arrest that cat not on a leash!

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure you have the authorities on speed-dial. Good to know you keep your government busy serving your needs. What a good neighbor. Let's hope you're in compliance in all you should be doing too. Sheesh!

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Yup. Even up to date with my quarterly projected earnings payment to our Uncle Sam. It's good to have to have projected earnings payments to make. We're job creators now. Can't use the "R" word.

If people want cats to defecate in the neighbors garden(s), change the city ordinance. As it is now, cats are to be on a leash, not roaming about.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 8 months ago

It's good to know that there are big-government, nanny-staters on both sides of the aisle.

pizzapete 3 years, 8 months ago

Alceste I hope with an increase of police on K10 people like you will start getting tickets. Does holding up traffic make you feel better about yourself?

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

My perspective is that I have as much right to be in the left lane doing 72mph until the right lane moves up from 62-65. Too, I don't feel safe with the idiot mergers on the right hand side. It's just not safe. Do your thing.....I'm doing mine. Gonna continue to do it, too.

GUMnNUTS 3 years, 8 months ago

You must be driving on a different K-10 if you are passing cars at 72mph. I don't feel safe knowing you are trying to be a burden on the highway, but I guess that is why I got the cattle guard on my dually F-150, to protect me from people like you.

p.s. hands free cellular has not been proven safer, it's still distracted driving.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

ain't no different than singing along with 50cent, eh?

Cai 3 years, 8 months ago

As far as distraction goes, the hands free part of the phone call doesn't actually help. You're just as distracted as someone holding the phone with a hand.

Stop, then make the call; either wait until you've reached your destination or pull over.

Otherwise, don't make the 'hands free, of course' statement as though it makes everything okay. It doesn't.

Chris Phillips 3 years, 8 months ago

Fines for speeding are not a "sin" tax, they are intended as a punishment for endangering the general public for dangerous behavior. A "sin" tax is what you pay when you purchase alcohol or tobacco.

Susan Mangan 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm all for pulling over and fining more people for driving like idiots on that road. But that won't stop the fatal cross-overs that are usually due to alcohol and/or drugs.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

If people are "driving like idiots" that is very often "due to alcohol and/or drugs."

Getting those people off the road is a very large part of a highway patrolman's job. But those people usually get more than just a fine for that!

rwwilly 3 years, 8 months ago

I am just curious. Relative to other limited access, 4 lane divided stretches of Kansas highway such as I-35 or !-70, how disproportionate are fatalities on K-10? If this statistic is included in the article, I missed it. It's heavily travelled, that's for sure. I travel it twice daily almost all the way to Lawrence. I observe state police almost daily during my commute. I suppose a lane barrier might reduce deaths. What do the statistics tell us about barrier vs non-barrier fatalities on equally busy highways? Everyone travels fast on K-10... the speed limit is 70. That's fast. If you don't go the limit you are a hazard and probably causing congestion which is legit if you stay in the right lane. I see little benefit to more patrolling or higher fines. There is no accounting for aggressive, idiot drivers except by being a defensive driver. If you can get a license number and succesfully prosecute, go for it.

droppinplates 3 years, 8 months ago

"If you don't go the limit you are a hazard and probably causing congestion..."

This is very true. There are people out there like Alceste who believe they are the safest person on the road and self appointed rule enforcers. While travelling in the left lane, at or below the posted speed limit, and refusing to move over, they become just as much of a hazard as those who are exceeding the speed limit.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

When I'm on a road such as an Interstate or K-10, I try to find a big truck that is going at a speed that I consider reasonable, and then pace it. Of course in the right lane and not to closely, but not to far back either.

That makes it obvious to other drivers that if you want to pass that truck, you have to pass me first, and that's fine with me.

I think that's the safest way to drive because if that big truck collides with something, it will clear the road for me and I'll have plenty of time to stop in time to avoid becoming involved in the accident myself.

Actually, big trucks on the highway make me nervous. Part of that is because one time I saw a blue Plymouth that had an accident with a truck, and after that, it was only twelve inches tall.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

72mph baby. Sticking with it, too. 72mph is darn fast. I'm not enforcing no rules and I'm not a "self-appointed" rule enforcer. When one is traveling a cruise control 72mph and makes the mistake of getting behind a 66mph in the right lane at the wrong time of day.....you're stuck in that right lane from here to KC. No sir. I'm driving like the law allows....faster traffic to the left. That be me. You dimbulbs going 80mph plus? That law wasn't written with a "wink" in it for you to go that fast. Nope. Ain't how I read the thing. Ain't how it's been splained to me by the KHP and a rude ticket bees comin' your way before judgement day.

droppinplates 3 years, 8 months ago

Driving 72mph is exceeding the speed limit on K10. Do you really believe there is much of a difference between 72 mph and 80mph?

Your statement confirms what I figured. You are one of the selfish people who stays in the left lane because YOU don't want to get caught behind slower traffic in the right lane....which is where you should be driving. So you stay in the left lane with no regard to who is behind you trying to pass. You justify it by saying you are going a safe speed and anyone trying to pass you is speeding and a danger.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Try leaving for work 15mins earlier. You'll probably avoid me and the majority of other drivers.

HardwoodGoat 3 years, 8 months ago

Count how many people pass you on the right and give you the finger tomorrow morning….I'm guessing at least half a dozen. You are an object of pity.

Get out the way, get out the way!!

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

The personal salutes tend to amuse me as do the facial expressions. "What's everybody in such a hurry about, " I say to myself. And myself answers "Dunno. Don't care either." I'm doing 72mph baby.....72mph...gotta deposit the coupons and on the way back get that COSTCO hotdog. Yum. Yum!

Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 8 months ago

In how many deadly accidents on K10 was speed a factor? What time of day did these accidents happen? It sounds to me like they're going to crack down on speeding commuters, which wasn't a major cause in the crossover accidents that I can recall over the past few years.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Here's a fact for you to ponder:

If the vehicles that were involved in crossover accidents had been going slower when they collided, there would have been no fatalities.

rwwilly 3 years, 8 months ago

Yer sure about this "fact", huh? At last you're not prone to generalities.

Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, so everyone should drive five miles per hour so there are never any deadly crashes. (You really can't guarantee no fatalities at any speed.)

People didn't cross the median b/c they were going 90 instead of 70. They crossed b/c they'd been popping a bunch of pills or whatever. Yes, the damage will be less if they're going slower, but speed itself is not the root of the problem.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Obviously there are some posters here who have never studied Physics in college.

BrentS 3 years, 8 months ago

The difference between a closing speed of 140 and a closing speed of 160 is just varying degrees of dead. Cars are simply not built to withstand those kinds of forces, and if they were we'd all be driving Humvee-sized behemoths that got single-digit gas mileage and seated two plus a small suitcase. Encouraging/enforcing safe and attentive driving, is the first and best way to avoid highway fatalities. Unfortunately for everyone, they don't make a radar gun that can tell an officer if a driver has his head in the game, so law enforcement just goes with the easy choice of speeding tickets.

JerryStubbs 3 years, 8 months ago

At 30 mph or below, from what I remember reading.

You could be going 60 mph and drop a cigar in your lap... you could have a fatal crossover right there.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Again, Physics. First you need to take a five hour course in Calculus.

poiii 3 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like higher fines are going to reduce crossover crash rates on K10.

Maybe making each infraction on K10 cost 1 percent of the individuals average wealth over the last 5 years will cure the problem. It that does not do it try 5 percent, if not that try 10 percent. Keep upping the percentage and eventually the K10 problem will be a thing people only write about as a historical account.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually, the only real solution is a concrete barrier in the median. Unfortunately, that is very expensive.

The turnpike now has a concrete barrier on its whole length within Kansas. I once had car trouble on it, and had a brief conversation with a patrol officer that patrols only the turnpike.

He told me that when he saw there was an opening to be a turnpike patrolman, he jumped at the chance because he really hated going to work every day and not knowing what he would experience. There were many gruesome scenes, but he did not go into any detail.

He told me that since he had been a patrolman on the turnpike, he had seen just about exactly zero fatal accidents. Sure, there were rollovers and people in the ditch, but those weren't all that stressful to respond to.

Another time I had a more lengthy conversation with a former police officer that used to work in Shawnee county. He told me that when he first started, he was quite lenient with speeding violations.

But, after pulling out to many dead bodies, if he caught someone going ten or more miles over the limit, he would issue a citation. Because, he told me that speeding is the number one cause of accidents and fatalities.

It's a basic law of physics - the faster you are going when something goes wrong and you end up in the ditch or median, the greater your chance of dying is.

And this is absolutely true: You have no control over what other drivers are going to do, and the faster you are going when you collide with them the greater your chances of dying are.

Of course, you can always find many people that claim that they can go as fast as they want safely. Their tires will never blow out, and no one will ever cross the median towards them, and they know that for a fact.

gatekeeper 3 years, 8 months ago

I drive K-10 most days. The cops are often speeding too. A few weeks ago, two cars passed me (racing each other) going so fast I about cr*pped myself. This was just before Desoto and once you go over a small hill, you can see Desoto and often an officer sitting running radar. These cars hit their brakes and both got into the right lane. The officer did absolutely nothing. NOTHING. I think it depends on if they need to meet their quota and if they feel like getting out and giving tickets.

Keep in mind, these cars were racing at speeds well over 100 MPH and the officer had to have seen them as they approached and he chose to do nothing.

I see so many people texting, reading, etc.... on K-10 and have just watched officers pass them. I don't know what it will take to make officers take charge, but I don't think changing the fines for speeding will do anything. I am very sensitive about this because I was recently hit while at a stop light by a girl who was playing with her phone and had my car totalled and now have chronic back pain because she chose to not pay attn to the road and couldn't be bothered to put down her phone. The officer that came to the wreck wouldn't even check her phone, even though the officer was advised that she was looking down without her hands on the wheel.

There is no easy solution unless officers follow the rules themselves and strictly enforce them 24/7. Good luck!

notorious_agenda 3 years, 8 months ago

There were 19 fatalities due to accidents on K-10 to 435 from 2001 to 2010. 19 is not high enough to justify making this road a safety corridor. There were many many more deaths on other roads which are not safety corridors. This is ridiculous and now less cops will be on those other roads while they waste their time on K-10.

Thanks a lot cable barrier supporters, the cable barrier for K-10 is not realistic(it will do just as much harm as good) so they will just ticket the crap out of everyone. Its easy they count the tiremarks in medians; Obviously there are many more who stop in the 30' median without crossing over than actual crossovers(who woulda thunk it). Once they realize that they decide what other way they can "control" us and decide that to fine us more is a good idea.

Phone_Man 3 years, 8 months ago

I feel for each and every family who have had an officer show up to their door to inform them a loved one was lost in an automobile accident. To all of you Ashats who think speeding is their right and the people going the speed limit are the problem you can go straight to Hll. If everyone did the speed limit and observed the laws fatalities would drop; end of story. Unfortunately we will always have the drunks and idiots who speed because "its cool" so the best we can do is be a better driver so we can be prepared and avoided them when they crash and burn. Cables and concrete will reduce the fatalities but I don't believe for one second it will stop them all!

Derek Broksieck 3 years, 8 months ago

Should we just put the speed limit at 35 on all of the highways since you say dropping the speed limit would drop fatalities?

Phone_Man 3 years, 8 months ago

I didn't say anything about dropping the speed limit. I said do the posted speed limit. No one has any business going over the posted speed limit especially on K-10. K-10 is far too busy to be running any faster than posted speeds.

Phone_Man 3 years, 8 months ago

I came up with all this"stuff" from the attitudes and comments of some of the posters on this thread. I came up with this stuff by the attitudes of some of the moron drivers on K-10!

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

It's surprising that there is so much discussion on this thread about accidents on K-10 and some other highways and what various posters believe are the basic causes for them.

So many have mentioned that drivers who were intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs were really the problem, when only yesterday there was an article in LJWorld that covered the basic nature of addiction to various drugs and alcoholism that is really the basic cause of so many accidents.

Here's what's amazing: I was the only one that posted on that article.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I just checked again. I am still the only one that posted on the basic problems for why people drink, use other drugs, and then very often drive.

There is certainly a whole lot of discussion on this thread about the results of driving under the influence of driving while intoxicated, in fact over a hundred comments, and yet I was the only one that even addressed the basic causes for why that occurs in the first place.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 8 months ago

Fines and enforcement? Ya mean make K-10 commuters accountable for their own safety? B-b-b-ut the cables...the gubment is apposed to save us!

classclown 3 years, 8 months ago

Alceste (anonymous) replies…

My perspective is that I have as much right to be in the left lane doing 72mph until the right lane moves up from 62-65. Too, I don't feel safe with the idiot mergers on the right hand side. It's just not safe. Do your thing.....I'm doing mine. Gonna continue to do it, too.

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Your perspective is wrong. In fact the only reason for a vehicle to be in the left lane is for passing. If you are not actively passing another vehicle ( that doesn't mean taking several minutes to do it either ), then you are to drive in the right lane. In fact, the people out there doing 90 mph or more are by law, supposed to stay in the right lane unless they are actively passing.

And quite frankly, cops would just as soon pull over and ticket the slow driver in the fast lane for holding up traffic rather than go after the speeders. I've seen it happen.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

This is Kansas. Not Germany. No lectures on how to drive on Kansas hillbilly roads with all manner of simpletons out there (this poster included).

German drivers on the German Autobahn DO understand courtesy and simplicity. Let me know when that starts happening in Kansas, not to mention the USA. I'll know the right lane isn't such a "bad" place once we make that shift. In my lifetime.....as if....

Too, I'll be sure and make a post eating crow when I getted pulled over on K-10 for doing 72mph in the LEFT hand lane. It's not going to happen during prime driving hours when the right lane is doing the double nickle mph....or even 60mph and all those JoCo running late, I gotta be in a triple hurry galloots "merge". Weaving in and out of the left and right lane to please the 80+mph crowd ain't my thing. (It ain't just "kids" doing that crazy driving either....plenty of soccer mommy's with junior strapped in holding on for dear life in the MiniVan are just as guility....oh yeah.....yacking on the cell phone as they flash the high beams, one hand on the steering wheel.). Messes with my cruise control too. Start waving your pistol you've got concealed or even out on the seat for all I care. Driving is Pure D American. We brag about our prowess in the driving arena while also bragging about our inability to simple math equations. Go figure. shrug

Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

I've driven the autobahn. It's just a limited access highway. There is no magic.

The german people can routinely drive 140 because they are accustomed to doing it just like we are accustomed to 70.

As for courtesy, they are courteous enough to let faster traffic pass without trying to play cop and creating their own rolling roadblock.

Phone_Man 3 years, 8 months ago

I have also driven the autobahn and what both of you have stated is absolutely true; except you forgot to mention one critical factor. The autobahn has a significantly lower amount of traffic than most of our roadways in the US. High speeds and high traffic volume do not mix well. Go the speed limit!

classclown 3 years, 8 months ago

Alceste (anonymous) replies…

German drivers on the German Autobahn DO understand courtesy and simplicity. Let me know when that starts happening in Kansas, not to mention the USA.

=================================

Why can't it start with you?

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Nah. I'm but a meager follower. I follow the trends....I don't set them. Nor do I have any desire to set trends. I just like to send in my quarterly projected earnings checks; clip my coupons; personally drive into KCMO by way of K-10 to deposit said coupons; stop and get a hot dog at COSTCO; and motor my way back to Lawrence via K-10.....72mph baby....72mph.

How about the classclown starting the trend?

estespark 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, I didn't realize they formed a committee. That should get things squared away in short order. If there's one thing history has taught us it is this - if you want to get something done your best bet is to form a committee. And make sure it is co-chaired by two government officials with different agendas.

JerryStubbs 3 years, 8 months ago

K-10 is much safer than the old two lane K-10 that weaved right thru Desoto and Eudora. If I remember it was considered one of the most dangerous roads in Kansas. 70 was the defacto speed limit at the time, but you couldn't drive that on those curves!

With a passing lane all the way and the fairly low traffic rates we have here in Kansas there's little reason people can't drive along at whatever reasonable speed suits them ( or the vehicle they're driving) and get there safe and sound.

Some people might consider Alceste a little hypocritical-- admittedly breaking the 70mph speed limit at the same time as obstructing traffic. Alceste thinks that 72 is OK (even though we don't know if his speedometer is accurate, and most aren't ) and that as long as he is moving at all faster than the traffic on the right he is within the law, even though the following shows me he is violating the spirit of the law:


Alceste says ... "Flash them lights....ride that bumper....sooner or later you're going to regret it. When I finally do let you pass me, I'm capturing your license plate and then phoning it in to the Sherrif and the Highway Patrol. Hands free of course."


And then to top it off he is guilty of inattentive driving (hands free operation isn't proven safer, and is just as much a violation in locations that prohibit cell use while driving ).

Also you shouldn't use cruise control when you are in enough traffic that you might need to adjust your speed to deal with that traffic, and if there is so much traffic you can't move back to the right after passing this would seem to be the case.

In fact, I think that is what that new law is intended to discourage: Setting your cruise control and then just driving in the left lane. Cruise controls on different cars work differently. Plus eventually you might run into someone that set their cruise on 71, or 70. Then what will you do?

I sympathize with Alceste's position if there is a long line of slower cars in the right lane, ie, bumper to bumper, and you want go the speed limit you should be entitled to pass, and you might not be able to move immediately back to the right.

But remember-- some of those soccer mom's can get pretty harried, with kids throwing stuff, yelling, and who knows what else. It's safer for them to make up some time on a four lane limited access highway than in town, if for some reason they are running late.

And when you think of all the thousands of cars that travel on K-10 everyday, you can imagine that some of them may have a more pressing reason than :


Alceste says ... "Perhaps the children might want to slow down: leave for work in at a proper time; allow for exiegency based travel happenings; ease up on them $10 Starbucks; etc. It ain't me babe....."


so it's good to be considerate of them too.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

My speedo on the money. So sayeth the test equipment and so sayeth 3 different brands of GPS. 72mph baby.....72mph. See, I like to count my money....I do not like to spend it. Were the speed limit 90mph, I'd be doing 92mph baby.....92mph. But it ain't. shrug

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

71 is too slow. I suppose 73 would be a tad bit more on the wild side....but why tempt fate, eh? 72mph baby.....72mph has always been good to me....

JerryStubbs 3 years, 8 months ago

Ron Holzwarth: It's not always safe to drive alongside or close behind trucks. They can't see you as well as you can see them. If something goes wrong with a truck, like it blows a tire or something, you don't want to be just drifting past it when that happens. You don't want to be behind a truck when it goes uphill,, or sheds a tire tread. You don't want to be along side it if the rim bolts blow, they can kill you.

The best thing about K-10 is the relatively low number of trucks on it, compared to I-70. Maybe some cable barriers in select locations are appropriate. The rumble strips might help more than extra patrols. How can extra patrols predict ( and prevent) when somebody is just drunk and drives on the wrong side of the road? or has some personal condition or even mechanical failure?

On the other hand, at night, those flashing lights can really have an effect on drivers, and that might help.Maybe just park a patrol car with the lights flashing about halfway to Desoto.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Did you notice that I said "behind" a truck, and not beside it?

Apparently not.

And, did you notice that I mentioned a safe following distance?

Apparently not.

And, I have been at the wheel of a big rig, so I know very well what it's like to drive one.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

2) Also of course, there are a lot of cars on the road that are driving on tires that are threadbare, so the highways are filled with dangers for everyone. Someone's tire could blow out beside you, or while coming in the other direction towards you. Very few car drivers are actually prepared at all times to correct for a tire blowout. It can be done, but practicing for that is not really possible to do safely. An experienced car driver shouldn't have much of a problem with that, but a large truck is different. The trailer is simply going to swing into the other lane and very likely collide with your car, and there is nothing the truck driver can do about it.

But back to the issue of safely driving around large trucks. I was not joking when I mentioned that I came upon an accident between a large, loaded semi truck and a blue Colt Vista 4WD. I do not know exactly what happened.

After the accident, the Colt was only about 12 inches tall. Fortunately, the tailgate was the only part of the Colt that didn't seem to be damaged much, and it was standing up and that blocked my view of the horrific carnage that had occurred less than two minutes before. But, I did get to see three men and one woman that were looking at it from the other side of the remains of the Colt Vista. They had the most shocking looks of horror on their faces that I have ever seen on anyone. I am glad I did not see what they saw.

I was not a witness to the accident, so I have no idea exactly how it came to happen that a large semi truck simply ran over a small car. The only possible saving grace that I can even begin to comprehend for the car driver was that it was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a very quick death.

Anyone that has ever spent any amount of time driving closely behind a large truck will certainly notice that they almost constantly always toss small, and sometimes quite large, pieces of gravel and stone at your car. If your windshield is cracked by that, in theory the registered owner of the truck is responsible, but in actual practice the truck driver will simply head on down the highway and have no idea what happened. So, it is absolutely necessary to stay far enough back so that will not happen to your paint job or windshield. Or worse, break through your windshield and produce results that I don't want to even discuss.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

3) So, it is necessary to say far enough behind a truck so that cannot happen, and in my opinion, it is also necessary to stay far enough back so that in case there is a violation of the laws of Physics and the truck should come to a sudden stop due to a collision of some kind, you will be able to stop before colliding with the back of the truck. That is what I meant by a safe following distance.

But if you stay in that location, following the truck, it is obvious to other car drivers that if they want to pass that truck, they will have to pass you first. Which is fine, I have no problem with that.

There are some problems with driving large trucks. One is the stopping distance, and that is limited by the laws of Physics. If the driver of the truck is driving deadhead, that is, with no cargo, he can stop his truck just about, but not quite, as quickly as a car can. But, if he has an 85 ton load, which is the legal limit for a single trailer truck, his stopping distance is much, much longer. That statement is even more true for tandem and triple trailer trucks. I can't help but think that tandem or triple trailer trucks are nothing but train locomotives on the highway, and there is no way I would ever want to be in front of one of them for that very reason. But, tandem and triple trailer trucks are allowed on very few highways, and they are almost all on through routes. I-70 and I-35 are two of them.

If there is a desperate reason to slow down or stop while in front of a double or triple trailer truck, avoiding a terrible accident might not even be possible. Your best bet would be to quickly pull to the right so that the large truck can pass by you on your left. But, that is not a guarantee that you will survive.

For those reasons, I always do my best to stay some distance behind large trucks, and take great pains to never get in front of them. And if I'm in front, I want to be a long distance in front. If a large truck is to closely behind me, I signal right and pull over when it is safely possible for the driver to pass me, and that will make it quite obvious to the driver that I want him to do that.

One thing you always need to keep in mind is that there is not a single truck driver in the world that wants to have an accident, if he or she can possibly avoid it. They take great pains to keep the roads safe for everyone. In order to maintain the greatest margin of safety, they can certainly use some cooperation from car drivers.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

4) One of the worst things a car driver can do is stay in the left lane and not move over for faster traffic, that is not legal, and incredibly dangerous. Perhaps a year ago, there was a horrific accident just on the other side of Kansas City where apparently that was the cause of the accident, although I do not know for sure. The view of the carnage from the air and a brief description of what happened was all that I saw.

Unless there were witnesses to the accident that can verify exactly what happened and what order it happened in, which is not likely, there is no way to determine how it first began. But, the event that happened afterward was extremely obvious.

One semi truck ran into the back of a passenger car that had just changed lanes, or maybe just ran over it because it was creeping along in the fast lane, and then a second semi truck collided with the back of the semi truck in front of him.

The only survivors were the truck drivers. There was a great deal of difficulty in determining the make of the car that had been run over, not to even mention determining how many passengers were in the car, or what their identities were. The only thing that was for sure was: The car that was crushed was in the left lane, that is, the fast lane, when the accident occurred.

The pictures of the aftermath were taken from the air, and I don't remember exactly which trucking company's trucks were involved, but they were either Fed Ex or Swift trucks. Both of those trucking companies are very well known for hiring only very safe drivers, along with many other companies.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

1) JerryStubbs, you are absolutely correct on some points.

One of the points you are absolutely correct upon is that it is NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER safe to be driving beside at large truck at any time. Always be some distance ahead, or some distance behind if it is at all possible to safely do so.

Because yes, truck tires can and do very often shred and throw pieces and that can happen at any time without any warning. But it is more likely to occur when the weather is warm. That is often lethal to the passengers in a car that is unwisely driving alongside a truck. But usually the wheel does not come completely off, although that has been known to happen on trucks that are not well maintained.

A drive through the southern California or Arizona desert will verify the tire shredding problem within a few miles drive. However, Arizona is much better about picking up the pieces of shredded tires, they have special trucks for the special purpose of picking up that debris, and pieces of shredded tires is most of it. They are put in big piles to be picked up later. California, perhaps because of the budget cuts, seems to have a habit of just tossing them to the side of the road and leaving them in place beside the highway. I believe that might be different if the pieces had much of a scrap value.

In fact, that problem is not limited to tires on large trucks. There was some movement in Congress to require expiration limits on car tires, because if they are in storage for a long period of time, they are much more likely to shred to pieces when you are driving on the highway. It's not as common on car tires, however. Anyway, that legislation did not get very far in Congress, so it's not done at all today.

So, in order to be sure you are purchasing tires that are safe for your car, you should buy them at an outlet that sells a large volume of tires, and not an independent shop that sells very few tires in a typical month. If you buy them in a small location that sells very few tires, you have no idea how long that that the tires you have installed on your car have been in storage. The latex used in their construction does break down with time, and since there is at present no date code required on car tires, you have no way to know how old they actually are when they are first installed on your car. You will consider them to be new tires, but they certainly are not.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

5) There are only a few trucking companies hire drivers that are not experienced and known for sure to be very safe drivers. I am sticking out my neck to say this, but J. B. Hunt, which operates a fleet of bright orange trucks, is one well known trucking company that hires drivers that do not have a lot of experience. They are a good company for a truck driver to start with, until he has built up a reputation for safely. So be especially careful around orange trucks, no other trucking company uses that color scheme.

But, all trucking companies are very careful to hire only drivers that they believe to be careful and safe enough to navigate the highways of the USA that are full of car drivers who have no idea how to safely drive around large trucks.

My father had a semi truck for a while, and so I have a very small amount of experience with semi trucks. When I drove it myself, there were a few things that quickly became obvious.

First off, you cannot really stay in your lane when you are making a sharp turn. You just have to hope that the car drivers around you are experienced enough to be aware of that.

Another thing is that you cannot stop very quickly if you have a full load.

One more is that you cannot make evasive maneuvers nearly as quickly as a car can.

There is only one advantage of driving a big truck, and that is your seat is so much higher than a car driver's. As a result, you can see much farther down the road that a car driver can. That is why on occasion, a large truck will pass you when it does not appear to you to be safe to do so.

There is a bit of etiquette that is well known between professional truck drivers. And that is, when a truck that has just passed you is far enough to safely move back over into your lane, you flash your lights to let him know that the lane in front of you is now clear, and he can then signal and safely make a lane change back into the right lane.

It is rather difficult to determine exactly when you have reached that point from the driver's seat of a large truck, especially at night.

If you do that for a large truck that has just passed you, he will almost certainly be thankful to know that it is now safe to move over. And, for a thank you, he is likely to flash the lights on the back of his truck at you.

That is how a semi truck driver says: "Thank you."

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Dammit, 2, 3, and 4 did not come out in the right order!

Sorry 'bout that!

JerryStubbs 3 years, 8 months ago

I doubt that will help.

So what do you really thnk? cable barriers, rumble strips, or extra patrols?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I heard of a man who was able to sue successfully five or six times within six months for doing exactly that. He earned a lot of money by doing even more damage to the back of his car, because every successive driver was responsible for all of the previous damage also.

The police did nothing, except to claim they wrote his name down.

Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

"Is Godspeed divisible by zero?"

That's how they make Volvonium. It is the hardest of all metals. It's much harder than diamond.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

I thought Kryptonite was the hardest of all metals. It's certainly the hardest one to find on the periodic table of the elements.

But then, I never was able to find Volvonium on it either. It's all relative, I guess.

Joe Hyde 3 years, 8 months ago

The physical changes that KDOT is looking at here (cable barriers in two spots, rumble strip on left lane fog line) are very good ideas. I'd like to suggest an addition to the physical improvement considerations: Set up a brief, 1/2-mile long 55mph zone on K-10 Highway to protect east and west bound traffic through that very tricky junction, said zone starting 1/4-mile each side of the junction with K-7 Highway. This junction features two "pop up" merge lanes where vehicles are crammed into K-10's right hand lane. Reduced velocity through there will increase the amount of time needed to perform collision avoidance methods maneuvers. Result? Fewer collisions there, in all weather.

The idea of increasing law enforcement is good, too. Real good. And in that vein I'd like to suggest to the officers that they can make traveling on K-10 more neighborly if they'd begin aggressively going after tailgaters. Excessive speed is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what makes driving on K-10 so dangerous. Lots of times a caravan of vehicles is flying along at the maximum allowable speed, which is fine except they're following one other so closely you'd swear they were connected by towbars. Totally psychotic driving behavior. Anything goes wrong with the vehicle in front -- dodging a deer, for instance -- you get a "bowling for dollars" scattering of vehicles, some of which might careen across the median into the two oncoming two lanes.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

That happens all the time in California. The only thing that surprises someone from Kansas is that no one even stops to look, because it happens so often.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 8 months ago

I am also against increasing fines. Fines are very high already and once you increase the fines then they will find a reason to increase fines everywhere else.

I see the main problem is that the people who are abusing their driving privilege are not afraid of any consequences from their actions. They are careless, change lanes recklessly, follow too close, drive too fast and drive too slow.

I would continue to increase the patrols on this road which I see they are doing now. I would make sure that the bad drivers see a police car everytime they drive this road and I would put up warning signs along the road. We need to inform the bad drivers that we are watching and we are coming after them.

It is a good idea to provide a special designation for this road and to put a scare into the drivers who don't seem to want to change their habits.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Something that really bothers me is that the police rarely if ever pull over someone for burned out headlights, turn signals, and this especially bugs me:

They almost never pull over people for brake lights that are not working! I believe that most people that have that problem are not even aware of it.

The fine for that is trivial, and that infraction does not go on your driving record.

To get the fine waived, all you need to do is go down to the courthouse within a week and demonstrate to a police officer that the lights have been repaired and are now working. Then the whole thing is forgotten about.

Far to many people count on the brake lights on the car ahead of them to work. But, it's not at all uncommon for them to be burned out!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

I like this plan. Let's put Kansas people back to work and food on the tables patrolling K-10.

Make Kansas beautiful. Let trees grow in the middle of the median then provide more crossover spots for the K-10 Traffic Patrol team.

Save Kansas Money - Let volunteer trees grow in the middle of the median = natural barrier and reduces the cost of mowing.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

merrill suggesting that more police be hired? Inconceivable!

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