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Killingworth Committee Seeks Cash to Catch Speeders

Speeders be warned, the traffic safety committee wants $18,000 next year to catch you.

 

As part of the ongoing effort to slow down motorists along some rural roads in Killingworth, the town's Traffic Safety Committee is requesting $18,000 in next year's budget.

The money — three times the amount the group has received in previous years — would be used to pay for additional police patrols to specifically target speeders.

"We hate to be running around saying 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling,' but sooner or later something is going to happen," said committee chair Robert Ellis.

Ellis has collected more than two years worth of traffic data using a SpeedSpy device that shows that the overall average speed along Killingworth's roads is 10 to 13 mph above the actual speed limit. In one case, along a stretch of Route 148 (between Routes 79 and 81), drivers average 48 mph.

"They'll pass you, they'll tailgate you and then they get mad when you don't go 40 or 50 miles per hour," Ellis said.

The committee works closely with Resident Trooper Matthew Ward, who recently told the Board of Selectmen that his patrols also include stopping distracted drivers and drivers who aren't wearing seatbelts.

Ellis said Ward's enforcement, unfortunately, is limited because he is the town's only state trooper. If the board does not approve Ellis' budget request he has asked selectmen to consider hiring a second, part-time trooper to handle traffic issues.

In addition, the committee has asked the board to allocate an additional $15-$17,000 to the Public Works Department's budget — funds that would be used to replace deteriorating guard rails which could prove to be a liability for the town.

While some residents have suggested increasing speed limits, Ellis said doing so would prove difficult.

"Most of the roads in Killingworth have an old, what I call rural road footprint and they won't support high speed limits," he said, adding that changes to speed limits require approval from the state Department of Transportation, a process that would likely result in the town having to make significant, costly changes to topography and sight lines.

This spring, sections of Route 148 are expected to be changed to 35 mph, according to Ellis.

Meanwhile, the commitee recently collected data along Schnoor Road and will soon deploy the SpeedSpy on Green Hill Road and additional interior roads, including Beech Tree Ridge where the effort, for now, remains on slowing drivers down.

"If [police] wanted to ticket the people who are going 35 they'd be writing tickets until the cows came home. We're basically looking for the people who are the over 40s and we have a lot of those."

Fiscally Conservative March 07, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Haha
Grizz March 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Long Time Killingworth Resident... The Grizz has been here for 40 years Part of the road was dirt back then. (Westbrook and Clinton B/4 that) and my wife and family even longer. My family to 5 generations in Madison! I believe if a person can't walk the road safely then something must be done and I feel the town has sat on their a**. It may be that if we pay a trooper then his priorities might need to be looked at. I agree with the money spent on rt 148 that the speed should be lifted in many areas (or was the money just wasted?) It seems the State Police just like to use it as a speed trap. Too bad they can't do the job on some of the side roads. 35 is still too fast in Killingworth on most of the roads we have.
KP March 21, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Bravo, well said! Couldn't agree with you more. Get rid of the traffice committee. They are ruining our town with their signs! "No Outlet" seems to be the newest fad. But the one that takes the cake are the stop signs on both ends of the dirt "path" that connects Rt 81 and Rt 80 from across the hardware store entrance to just beyond the Cloverleaf Store on Rt 80! Now that's priceless! Please, get a grip!
KP March 21, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Love it!!
Bill Romero March 21, 2012 at 02:22 PM
My grandfather (from Philly) got caught speeding on the interstate in Virginia 30 some years ago. The local deputy made him follow him to the County Court House. He was led to an area that was "behind bars" with a Court bench out side of it. The deputy said the judge would arrive in a few hours. The judge would impose a fine, at which time you could pay, in cash, and leave immediately or wait in the cell for your cash to get there. The judge arrived, grandfather pled guilty to speeding, and paid the cash. Grandfather never got pulled over for speeding again. Spending more money on signs and road planning will not solve the speeding problem in K'worth. Stepped up enforcement (serious fines) of the speed limits in Kilingworth, too fast and too slow, is likely the best way to solve this issue.

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