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City Stepping Up Speed Limit Patrol
Downtown limit is 25 mph
By Catherine Stortz Ripley

Chillicothe police are stepping up patrols along U.S. Highway 65 through downtown Chillicothe in an effort to increase safety among drivers and pedestrians. Police Chief Jon Maples stated that excessive speed is a concern on Highway 65, also known as Washington Street, as it cuts through the center of the downtown business district.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

In addition to police enforcement, the city will soon have a digital speed reader trailer from the Missouri State Highway Patrol that will be moved to various locations in town to show motorists how fast they are going. The reader is expected to be put in place later this week or next. Maples said that his department has already stepped up traffic enforcement on Washington Street. Highway 65 is a major north-south thoroughfare through Missouri. City Administrator Darin Chappell said that excessive speed has been apparent to him since moving to town a few months ago. He added that the visibility of speeding may fade into the background among many people who live in Chillicothe and see it frequently until a tragedy occurs. "It's not uncommon to drive through the area and see cars traveling 40 miles per hour," Chappell said. The potential for accidents increases in the downtown area, especially, when there is pedestrian traffic, cross traffic, and parallel parking. He said that much of the excessive speed can be attributed to out-of-town motorists. "People don't recognize the speed limit restrictions, and they treat it like a highway - full speed ahead," he said. Chappell noted that most motorists intend to travel the speed limit; however, some may shift their attention away from driving. "They are focused on other aspects of life and go with the flow of traffic and, unfortunately, that's part of the problem," he said. The administrator and police chief stated that police will give warnings if necessary and use their own discretion as to whether a ticket is issued to a speeding motorist. "We have a job to do and that is to slow everybody down in the community," Maples said.

Concerns over speeding motorists have been a concern for the community and was brought to the forefront this past weekend when a Chillicothe woman was killed in an accident at Washington and Calhoun streets where a speeding motorist ran a red light and slammed into the side of her vehicle.

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12/05/17 C-T - A speed limit warning trailer flashes digital readings of the speed motorists are going as they cross over the viaduct traveling north into the downtown area. The speed limit is posted at 25 mph just south of the viaduct; however, motorists often exceed that limit. The red and blue lights flashed frequently as the photographer stopped for a moment to take this picture. The portable trailer, provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will be moved to various locations in town alert motorists of their excessive speed and remind them to slow down. The sign currently is located along Washington Street (U.S. Highway 65) at the First Street intersection.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

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