Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, November 13, 2011

Safer K-10

Cable median barriers are a good first step, but increased enforcement of traffic laws on Kansas Highway 10 also is needed.

November 13, 2011

Advertisement

By this time next year, installation of cable median barriers could be complete along two particularly dangerous stretches of Kansas Highway 10 between Eudora and Overland Park.

It is hoped that the Kansas Department of Transportation project, estimated to cost $800,000, will help reduce the number of so-called crossover accidents on the busy highway that links Lawrence with the greater Kansas City area. Obviously, no cable will completely solve the problem.

But the cables will be a start.

Lobbying for new safety measures on K-10 began last April, soon after a 5-year-old Eudora boy was killed when a vehicle crossed the median and smashed head-on into the minivan in which the boy was riding. The driver of the vehicle that crossed into oncoming traffic also died in the accident.

The family of the boy, Cainan Shutt, advocated for “Cables for Cainan” and were joined by many others on their mission. Eudora Mayor Scott Hopson wrote a letter to Gov. Sam Brownback asking the governor to direct KDOT to install cable along 23 miles of median from Lawrence to Interstate 435 in Johnson County. KDOT formed a committee of officials and residents from Douglas and Johnson counties to discuss the issue.

And while the entire 23 miles won’t get cables, KDOT’s decision last week to install the cables along four miles of the highway is a great initial step. If the cables indeed save lives, the state should review whether to install them along the other 19 miles of the highway.

However, a troubling question remains: Is the road the problem or are drivers the problem?

Often, the answer is drivers.

Many drivers are speeding. There’s no doubt about that. And some drivers are intoxicated or high. Law enforcement reports following accidents corroborate that.

So what’s the plan to address those issues?

It appears KDOT will lobby the Kansas Legislature to designate K-10 as a highway safety corridor to make the road eligible for increased enforcement of traffic laws — and higher fines for people who break those laws.

Drivers who speed or drive impaired on K-10 must be told in no uncertain terms that there are severe penalties for putting other drivers and their passengers at risk.

It’s time for even more voices to join Cainan Shutt’s family in the lobby for a safety corridor designation.

This is a message that Kansas legislators must hear.

Comments

classclown 2 years, 5 months ago

overplayedhistory (anonymous) replies…

How about a closed book driving test every 4 years to start. November 13, 2011 at 9:46 p.m

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

Seems to me that when I renewed my license earlier this year, the only test I took was the eye test. Didn't have to take the written.

0

classclown 2 years, 5 months ago

cowboy (anonymous) says…

Until the drivers on k10 slow down it will remain a dangerous road. I was coming into town thursday by east hills area , doing 70 in the right lane and cars were blowing by me at 80. People are texting , eating , doing makeup , whatever other than driving. The thirty mile trip to KC 65 mph = 27 minutes 70 mph = 25.7 minutes 75 mph = 24 minutes 80 mph = 23 minutes

Is it worth it , 3 - 4 minutes ? November 13, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.

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

So you are complaining that while you were breaking the law by speeding, others were speeding faster and thereby even worse lawbreakers?

It's okay for you to break the law but everyone else are downright criminals when they do it?

0

Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

Occupy... the... median...! (from a source)

0

Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

Hire more state troopers and forget the cable barriers.

A million dollars plus money generated by fines can fund at least 10 more troopers and keep food on their tables at home.

Use my tax dollars to put people to work for the very long term. Call it the K-10 Safety Patrol

Keep the lines painted as well. Black asphalt soaks up headlight which makes driving difficult. Get the lines down on the road!

0

jdoe87 2 years, 5 months ago

Lets put more of the responsibility on the drivers Lawrence Journal World. If you dont notice, as I do, working for the KHP I drive that road every day and there are Sheriffs deputies, city officers and Troopers on that road every day from Lawrence city limit to Lenexa 435 interchange. With or without cables that road is unsafe due to the irresponsible drivers on cruise at 90 mph and drunk drivers. Your paper is quick to blame the counties and state for the road being "unsafe" though it is like any other road, I-35, I-70, I-435. Crashes happen and are only controlled by the drivers themselves, I think you have done enough reports on K-10 journal world. Its getting ridiculous.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 5 months ago

"However, a troubling question remains: Is the road the problem or are drivers the problem? Often, the answer is drivers."

Except for accidents that occur during extreme weather conditions, very rare mechanical malfunctions, or due to the sudden death or incapacitation of the driver, it is not "often", but "always" the drivers.

There is no real reason to drive into the back of the car in front of you, swerve your car or change lanes when there is a car beside you, or drive off the road to the right or to the left.

But a lot of drivers do exactly those things. How could the road possibly be the problem when it has such a smooth and well maintained surface, no blind intersections, and no sharp turns at all?

0

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 5 months ago

A better way would be simply to suspend the licenses of speeders and other reckless drivers on K-10 for 6 months at a time. That would curb abuse more effectively than a $200 fine. The Johnson County mommies and daddies would more likely get involved with their law-breaking kids if they had to ferry them back and forth between school and home than if they had a $200 fine to pay.

Draconian move, yes, but probably a lot more effective in the long run.

0

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

But increased enforcement might require hiring more troopers, and we can't have that. They might have to increase taxes. The Republicans in this state cannot have that. Their rich buddies would be upset and cut them off.

0

patkindle 2 years, 5 months ago

we have so many self entitled people who are too important to follow speed limits, why not just award them with a 200 dollar fine for driving 80 mph or more on K-10. perhaps that would make them feel even more special??

0

cowboy 2 years, 5 months ago

Until the drivers on k10 slow down it will remain a dangerous road. I was coming into town thursday by east hills area , doing 70 in the right lane and cars were blowing by me at 80. People are texting , eating , doing makeup , whatever other than driving. The thirty mile trip to KC 65 mph = 27 minutes 70 mph = 25.7 minutes 75 mph = 24 minutes 80 mph = 23 minutes

Is it worth it , 3 - 4 minutes ?

0

OonlyBonly 2 years, 5 months ago

And many fewer driving 85 in the left and right lane!

0

cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

And fewer people driving 65 in the left lane would be an even better start.

0

kolisach 2 years, 5 months ago

Fewer texters and meth heads would be a good start.

0

Curtis Lange 2 years, 5 months ago

Making K-10 a safety corridor is an idiotic idea. We do need to applaud whatever politician that brought up the idea though. Let's take the emotions of a sad situation and use it to pad the pockets through traffic ticket revenue. Say YES to the cable barriers, but NO to the safety corridor. There are other, BETTER, ways of educating the public on safer, more courteous driving habits than these silly revenue corridors.

0

Gandalf 2 years, 5 months ago

Any update on the last headon crash?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.