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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Proposal to double fines on K-10 advances in Senate

February 22, 2012

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— Hoping to grab the attention of drivers on Kansas Highway 10, the state Senate on Wednesday advanced legislation that would double fines on the roadway between Lawrence and Johnson County.

“The point is not to fine people. The point is to save lives,” said state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, who has pushed for the legislation on behalf of the family of Cainan Shutt, a 5-year-old Eudora boy who was killed in an accident last year on K-10.

Senate Bill 342 was forwarded on a voice vote. A final vote is expected today. If approved, it will then head to the House for consideration.

Under the measure, traffic fines would double along K-10 and another heavily used road: U.S. Highway 54 in Wichita. The Kansas Department of Transportation would add signage alerting drivers that they were in a safety corridor and the increased fines.

Cainan’s family and Eudora officials have asked legislators to approve the bill.

Last April, a car driven by 24-year-old Ryan Pittman crossed from the eastbound to westbound lanes on K-10 near Eudora and struck a minivan in which Cainan was riding. Both Pittman and Cainan died. A toxicology report indicated that Pittman tested positive for a therapeutic level of methadone, an elevated level of tramadol and the active components of marijuana.

The accident spurred KDOT to move forward with a plan to install cable-median barriers this summer.

But supporters of the bill say more can be done to increase safety.

Holland said K-10 is deceptively dangerous because it is such a good road that drivers start speeding without realizing it.

State Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, said the same problem plagues 54 in Wichita.

“We have people dying out there that don’t need to,” Donovan said.

But the bill came under some criticism.

State Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, said he saw the bill “more as revenue enhancement for law enforcement” and that it wouldn’t have prevented the kind of accident that killed Cainan.

Olson said lowering the speed limit or setting up median barriers would be more effective.

“I don’t really see this as a solution. If we want to lower the speed limit, let’s have that debate,” he said.

As the bill came out of committee, it would have eliminated the so-called buffer zone for tickets given in the safety corridor. The buffer zone allows speeders to avoid having their tickets reported to their insurer if they aren’t going more than 10 mph over the speed limit. An amendment, however, by state Sen. Mike Peterson, R-Wichita, on Wednesday put the buffer zone back in, but at 5 mph over the speed limit in a safety corridor. Peterson also tried to amend the bill so that the safety corridor program would expire in three years unless the Legislature renewed it. But that amendment failed.

Comments

jd1929 2 years, 1 month ago

I think they should raise the child safety seat age again too. Let's make it 18 this time! The legislature does things like this when it's done nothing useful for its term and needs to have something to parade in front of voters. All over town and the highways I constantly see people texting while driving. Start writing tickets for things that cause accidents.

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Hoots 2 years, 1 month ago

I wish the cops would start writing some stop sign violations in this town. It"s to the point I feel like I'm playing Russian Roulette every time I pull away from the intersection. It seems half the people in this town don't think that big red sign applies to them. LPD needs to send a message and get this back in check.

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thuja 2 years, 1 month ago

The people who have the responsibility to keep the roads safe are the drivers, not the police.

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nugget 2 years, 1 month ago

Highway Patrol of Kansas are simply a complacent on this route. I commuted to Kansas City on 10 Highway for over 20 years and always observed the following rule. When going at least 80 miles an hour, no more no less, and you saw a Highway Patrol in the median, never slow down. This was when the speed limit was 70. The aren't about to grab you for speeding. In fact, still, to this day there's no enforcement of speeding on 10. It's a joke. Who can't figure this out? What's the freaking mystery, really???

I don't get it.

The people hired to do the job of keeping that stretch of pavement between Lawrence and KC safe simply don't do their job. That's based on 90 minutes of observation for 20 years. Do the math and tell me I'm wrong. Any other long-time commuter will say the same.

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Starlight 2 years, 1 month ago

Indeed. The more rules, the less responsibility people take for their actions.

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Russell Fryberger 2 years, 1 month ago

The idiots who don't care what the punishment is now, will not care what the punishment is later. No matter the cost. It takes tragedy to change some people, even then some don't get it.

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thuja 2 years, 1 month ago

The faster you drive, the longer it takes you to stop when someone's kid runs out into the street in front of you.

Hit a kid, and you'll probably forget all about why you were speeding.

All this talk about going over the speed limit as though it is somehow legal because the radar guns error obscures it.

How many other rules do you break, then, if this is your mentality?

Why have laws then?

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patkindle 2 years, 1 month ago

kash is king ku proved it along time ago with their prices

i hope the police upport it and give more tickets , but you can still buy down your tickets so it really isnt any thing more than money

if it saves one life, it is still worth it even it it isnt about the money, ha ha

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toe 2 years, 1 month ago

Not really high enough, but a good start. Fee based speeding. This should also be added to the turnpike.

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The_Original_Bob 2 years, 1 month ago

That picture is awesome. Couzins, for sure.

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hipper_than_hip 2 years, 1 month ago

As long as you keep it under 80 you'll be fine; they're not going to give you a ticket for five over. The cops I've talked to about speeding have been told by their depts to not ticket unless it's for 10 over or more because of calibration issues with the radar/laser guns.

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thewatcher 2 years, 1 month ago

By installing safety cables it will be all but impossible for law enforcement to run radar on K-10. Now police have a choice to make, do I stay off K-10 all together or when I see a speeding driver do I speed up myself and make it to a turn around then increase my speed even more to catch the violator. Safety cables are an awful idea that will in the end cause more damage than they will prevent.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

When your house is burning down it's a good time to make sure the doors are locked so nobody breaks in.

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Hoots 2 years, 1 month ago

The Germans have a much lower death rate per 100,000 miles driven compared to us yet they let it fly on the Autobahn. It;s not speed that kills people. That is such an ass dumb and worn out slogan. Most Americans steer...they don't drive. Oh, yeah. Those electronic devices are about 3 times as lethal as driving drunk according to several studies. The Germans outlawed them while driving many years ago but we still keep on doing the same old crap and blame it on the wrong thing once again. People in this country live in one very idiotic bubble. You are the Idiocracy. You say you're a good Multi-tasker.?..Well, BS on that too. The studies show you do two or more thing very poorly. You don't Multi-Task...you Multi-Crap. I hope your OH SO important text is worth the life of someone you love. You've damn near taken mine away more than once. I'm sick of you self absorbed idiots. But what do I know? I just travel...observe...and read boring safety studies. Studies politicians are too stupid to read apparently. Studies done by some of the most prestigious universities in the country no less.

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Kevin Haislip 2 years, 1 month ago

when are them guys in topeka going to wake up quit wasting time. more money for the state! fools

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sunny 2 years, 1 month ago

Just double the fines everywhere! More regulations and fees. That will solve the worlds problems for sure!

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Stuart Sweeney 2 years, 1 month ago

Why not include K-32? It has more fatalities than K-10 and no one notices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

I avoid K-10 whenever possible during the Nascar idiot periods in the early morning and late afternoon. A young woman passed me once doing about 85 as she was staring into the rear view mirror so she could check out the mascara she was applying. When she was done she decided she wanted to be in the other lane and whipped in front of me without as much as a turn signal.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 1 month ago

If this is what it takes to increase enforcement I am all for it.

If the increased fine is the only enforcement, I am very disappointed, even angry about it.

We have too many drivers on this road who drive recklessly and put others at risk. They need serious behavior modification.

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OonlyBonly 2 years, 1 month ago

Safety corridor? Yes. Double fines? Sure why not. Make it safer? Nope! Writer used a really, really bad example here - Do you really think the thought of "double fine" ever crossed the drug-addled brain of the referenced driver? Is the driver piddling with the CD or memory stick or reading the book thinking about "double fine?" Heck no! It's time to saturate 10 with State Troopers and local police departments in unmarked cars ticketing every inattentive driver and speeder on it. And we all know there's a heck of a lot of them on it!

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patkindle 2 years, 1 month ago

triple the fines the nuts with the big egos that drive 85 or 90 dont care they have more money than brains beats taxing the poor

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sunny 2 years, 1 month ago

This is stupid! Double fines is not going to stop accidents!

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madcow 2 years, 1 month ago

The problem is not speeding related. The problem is the idiots texting/talking/eating/picking their nose/ROCKING OUT HITTING THEIR STEERING WHEEL/and of course, driving too slow.

All things I have seen people doing in the last 4 weeks of driving on k-10 every day.

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Jay_Bird 2 years, 1 month ago

Wake up and smell the cash people...

This has nothing to do with safety, and everthing to do with revenue generation.

CASH, CASH, CASH!!!!!

You want to save lives... try some aggressive driver education programs. There are to many stupid drivers on the roads in this country. We could solve many of our dangerous road problems, and much of our road congestion problems with a much more strict diver education program.

Wake up people!!!

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 1 month ago

Browny is short on cash. He should triple the fines.

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FtBallC 2 years, 1 month ago

It won't do any good if there is not law enforcement out giving tickets. I was driving my normal hair under 80 today and was passed by a motorcycle doing probably 85 to 90...my radar detector indicated a cop in the opposite lanes so I slowed a little, do you think the motorcyclist was ticketed...Nope, cop kept on driving.
I agree with itsalwayssunny...it is mostly inattentive driving, drugs, or alcohol rather then speed, but just seems pointless to raise the fines for speeding if nothing is even being done now about the speeding.

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observant 2 years, 1 month ago

Why don't these idiots in legislature work at solving real problems. Laws don't cure stupidity. neither do elections, look at what Kansans keep electing.

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itsalwayssunnyinlarry 2 years, 1 month ago

this will totally fix the problem of drivers being inattentive.

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