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I-70: Accident Reduction Zone or Speed Trap?

Brian Kelly Twitter:@brpkelly
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ST. ANN, Mo. (KMOX)- If you drive on I-70 between St. Ann and the St. Louis city limits your used to seeing police cars from any of the eight municipalities along the way, stopping speeders. While some might call it a ‘speed trap’, it’s officially an “Accident Reduction Zone”, and St. Ann’s police chief says it’s working.

Bob Schrader tells KMOX that from January through July 2010, there were 40 accidents in the mile-long stretch of the highway that’s in St. Ann. He says in the two years since the zone was established on July 19 2010, there have been 39.

Schrader knows it’s not popular, “People drive by and give us the finger,” but he says it’s worth it.

And Schrader says his officers are more than fair, “We write (tickets) for 11 over. We give ‘em 10. They do 70 they don’t get a ticket.”

He says they’re also not suddenly dropping the speed limit and hiding behind billboards, “I believe that people know that we’re there. I want them to know we’re there. That’s why I put it on the TV,  on the radio, in the newspaper. I want people to know that we’re there so that they do slow down.”

Schrader says St. Ann officers have written more than 6,600 tickets in the last two years. He says the fine for going 71 to 74 mph in the 60 mph zone is $200. It’s $250 for between 75 and 79 mph, $300 for between 80 and 84 mph with mandatory court appearance and if you get stopped doing over 90, you’re going to jail. (The speed limit drops to 55 mph east of I-170 and east of St. Ann.)

To those who call it a money grab, Schrader says, “That tells me they’re habitual speeders, and they don’t like being caught.”

Schrader says it’s simple, “When you come through St. Ann, all I ask is that you do around the speed limit. Don’t get into the 70’s and you’ll be good to go.”

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