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Springfield Police Department urges drivers to slow down as fatal accident numbers rise

 A speed limit sign near Missouri State University (photo taken October 30, 2023)
Michele Skalicky
A speed limit sign near Missouri State University (photo taken October 30, 2023)

SPD said its officers are seeing people driving significantly faster than the posted speed limit.

Motorists need to drive slower, according to the Springfield Police Department. Officers are seeing more and more people going way over the speed limit.

SPD Sgt. Steve Ramey said speed is one of the top reasons people crash. Springfield has had 23 fatal crashes this year, and at least 10 are due to speeding.

"With speed, there's just so much devastation that happens with vehicles and people inside those vehicles or maybe even on motorcycles as well," he said.

According to SPD, from January to July, 2022, officers issued 3,798 citations for speeding in Springfield — up 29% from the same period last year. And speeding citations were up 69 percent in July alone.

Ramey said numbers are up, in part, because of more speeders on the roads and also because of increased enforcement.

And he said people are driving faster these days.

"We're finding people that are not going five miles per hour over or even 10," he said. "It's usually 20 to 30 miles an hour over the speed limit in any given day."

Ramey said many of the citations they issue are on the highway — even in work zones. He pointed to the work zone on Highway 60 near Kansas Expressway. The speed limit is 50, he said, and officers are consistently seeing people driving 75 to 80 mph even with workers present.

He said they also see motorists speeding through school zones when lights are flashing indicating 20 mph.

A recent fatality involving speeding occurred at National and Sunshine on October 14. Twenty-six-year-old Domingues Buenrostro was killed after he called an Uber driver to pick him up, and a speeding motorist plowed into the back of the vehicle as it was stopped for a red light. Thirty-eight-year-old Andrew Irizarry-Sierra has been charged with first degree manslaughter and second degree assault in the incident.

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams, in a news release, promised a continued effort to increase traffic stops and to issue citations when warranted. He said they want “to prevent tragic accidents in the future.”

Copyright 2023 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Michele Skalicky