Week of speed enforcement targets Highway 63

By Joe Meyer
Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Boone County sheriff’s deputies last week conducted a speed enforcement patrol on Highway 63 in south Boone County along with a countywide DWI saturation to crack down on speeding and impaired drivers.
Deputies stopped 95 vehicles on Wednesday during a six-hour speed enforcement effort on the highway south of Columbia. The weeklong DWI saturation resulted in 11 DWI arrests, sheriff’s Capt. Gary German said. The enforcements were funded mostly through the Missouri Department of Transportation Division of Highway Safety.
“That was one of the roadways that we’ve had a number of serious injury and fatality accidents over the years,” German said of the focus on Highway 63.
In 95 vehicles stopped, 75 motorists were issued speeding tickets, German said. Eight others were cited for failure to yield to emergency vehicles that had stopped along the highway, which are “move over violations.”
Other violations included: two driving with a suspended license, five seat belt violations, five failure to provide insurance, one failure to signal and one registration violation. Deputies also issued 15 warnings for other offenses, German said.
Deputy Brian Leer said authorities were surprised by speeding on that stretch of highway, where the speed limit is 70 mph. “There’s no doubt in my mind that speeding is an issue down there,” he said. “You combine the speed with intersections and volume of traffic, and crashes happen.”
The DWI patrol effort involved four officers seeking impaired drivers but not responding to calls for service. The 11 DWI arrests were well above the sheriff’s department’s weekly average of three arrests in 2008, German said.
MoDOT’s highway safety division awarded about $25,000 to the sheriff’s department to cover overtime pay for officers working DWI and traffic enforcements in fiscal 2009, program administrator Scott Turner said.
German said the sheriff’s department is planning similar enforcements later this year.
Reach Joe Meyer at 573-815-1718 or e-mail jmeyer@columbiatribune.com.