Missouri Highway Patrol revs up motorcycle patrol
By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star
The Missouri Highway Patrol announced today it has re-implemented its motorcycle patrol efforts.
The initiative, which began several weeks ago, is being conducted under a pilot program. It is designed to promote traffic safety and help curb vehicular accidents along roadside construction sites, said Col. James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
“Our agency continually searches for innovative ways to deliver the best service possible to the people of Missouri,” Keathley said in a statement released during the announcement.
Two “peace officer” blue Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycles have been assigned to Troop A in Lee’s Summit. Five other motorcycles were assigned to other patrol divisions throughout the state, Keathley said.
The motorcycle patrol will focus on traffic safety enforcement along congested roadways, high volume traffic routes, highway construction sites and other areas where it can be difficult to maneuver a patrol car, Keathley said.
Keathley said the motorcycle patrol would pay close attention to motorists who drive through highway construction sites.
On Wednesday, Michael York, a 27-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, was struck by a tractor-trailer rig and killed as he tried to cross Interstate 670 while performing maintenance on streetlights.
Last year, there were six persons killed and 797 were injured in Missouri in construction or work zones. The cause of those accidents usually was the result of motorists exceeding the speed limit or inattentive driving, said Sgt. Scott Meyer of the highway patrol.
Meyer said the highway patrol last used a motorcycle patrol in 1996. There was no reason why the effort was discontinued, he said.
Each motorcycle is equipped with emergency lighting, siren, radar and police radios. They also feature a Harley-Davidson 100th anniversary decal on the front fender.
Keathley said officials plan to evaluate the pilot program at the end summer to determine its effectiveness.
To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-5908 or send e-mail to [replacer_a].