Stiff fines for speeders on West Dodge Expressway
Friday, October 13, 2006 7:46 PM CDT
OMAHA, Neb. - The Nebraska State Patrol is cracking down on motorists caught speeding on the West Dodge Expressway.
Omaha city prosecutor Marty Conboy told the Omaha World-Herald that police have been told to cite drivers clocked at more than 100 mph for reckless driving. That charge carries up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
But the expressway is designated a construction zone between Interstate 680 and 132nd Street, so fines there are doubled.
That $500 fine for reckless driving quickly turns into $1,000. A $200 fine for traveling 21 mph above the posted speed limit becomes $400.
State Patrol Lt. Kevin Bridges said troopers are ticketing two or three drivers a week for doing more than 100 mph between Interstate 680 and Elkhorn. A few more tickets are being handed out for driving faster than 80 mph.
Most of those were on the westbound expressway. The westbound bridge opened in late July. Its eastbound counterpart was slated to open Friday afternoon.
Part of the problem, Bridges said, is that drivers now have a straight shot west.
The opening of the westbound bridge has alleviated traffic tie-ups near 114th street. Completion of interchanges near 180th and 192nd streets has also smoothed expressway travel.
The number of speeders has gotten so bad on the West Dodge Expressway that it has surpassed fast drivers on Interstate 80, authorities said.
Bridges said it would take a month to catch the same number of I-80 drivers as are caught each week traveling 100 mph or more on the West Dodge Expressway.
Despite the excessive speeds, he said, there have been no accidents so far.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com
A service of the Associated Press(AP)