• December 22, 2014

KPD focuses on speed enforcement

Number of tickets issued this year in Killeen more than double 2012

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Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2013 4:30 am

Killeen drivers who ignore posted speed limits were more likely to see flashing lights in their rearview mirrors this year than in 2012.

The Killeen Police Department more than doubled the number of speeding citations issued in 2013 from the previous year.

Data provided by KPD showed 18,525 speeding tickets were issued between January and October this year. That’s 11,247 more than the same time period in 2012.

The department credits the spike in citations to federal grant money, which allows more officers to spend more time on the streets, particularly during holidays.

“Our department receives grants from the Texas Department of Transportation annually, which allows our department to have extra patrols out during holidays,” Carroll Smith, a spokeswoman for the department,wrote in a statement to the Herald.

Added revenue

In October 2012, the department received $170,000 in federal funds from TxDOT’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program. The city added $34,600.

The funds were used to create a program that pays officers for voluntary overtime shifts dedicated to traffic enforcement, with a special aim at speeders and intoxicated drivers. At the time KPD received the grant, officials said they wanted to use 4,000 hours of dedicated traffic details.

KPD targeted several “problems zones” this year where compliance with speed laws is minimal.

Those included Veterans Memorial Boulevard from west city limits to W.S. Young Drive, Clear Creek Road (State Highway 201), Trimmier Road, U.S. Highway 190 and Central Texas Expressway and others.

‘We’ve been busy’

This year’s uptick in citations, in-part due the STEP grant, was readily apparent to city Judge Bill Gibson.

Gibson said he and his staff at the Killeen Municipal Court saw an increase in their workload as police stepped up speed enforcement efforts early this year.

“We saw a tremendous increase in the number of citations that went through this court,” Gibson said. “We’ve been busy.”

The increase in violations prompted the city to open a new payment window at the municipal court. Gibson said he requested an additional clerk to help with the increase, which was granted.

Despite the extra workload for the municipal court, Gibson said he approved of the STEP grant, noting the goal was ultimately to create a safer city.

“It’s designed for safety purposes, so it’s been worthwhile,” Gibson said.

Standing outside the municipal court in downtown last week, Killeen resident Lakeisha Brown said she noticed more police handing out tickets in Killeen this year. Brown was at the court to pay three tickets she received after she was pulled over near South Fort Hood Street.

Speeding fines in Killeen can range from $152 to $327, according to the municipal court’s website.

“It’s hard to come up with that money,” Brown said.

Brown acknowledged that increased enforcement, especially of speeding violators, might encourage safer city roads. “I think it will make more people slow down.”

Follow the money

Along with the increase in citations comes an increase in revenue. The year-to-date total for speeding citation revenue for 2013 is just over $3.3 million, according the city, doubling the $1.6 million collected in 2012.

City spokeswoman Hilary Shine said not all that money goes to the city. Approximately $81 of each ticket goes to the state, with the remaining money divided between multiple city funds.

Killeen residents likely will continue to see increased traffic enforcement next year. Ken Roberts, a spokesman for TxDOT, said the department was approved for a $81,600 STEP grant, which will be used to conduct selective traffic enforcement activities through September 2014. The Killeen City Council approved an additional $51,043, bringing the total to $132,643.

Again, Roberts said the goal of such grants is not to simply issue more tickets, but to cut down on dangerous driving infractions such as speeding, running red lights and driving while intoxicated.

“Typically, when you have increased visibility and increased enforcement, there is a positive impact on safety,” Roberts said.

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15 comments:

  • cz14 posted at 3:21 am on Sat, Mar 15, 2014.

    cz14 Posts: 25

    NEEDED TO CONTINUE --IF YOUR STOPPED FOR SPEEDING YOU SHOULD GET TICKETED BUT THAT NEEDS TO APPLY TO EVERONE THE WIFE OF A FIREMAN OR POLICE OFFICER CAN GO TO COURT JUST LIKE THE REST OF US

     
  • cz14 posted at 3:07 am on Sat, Mar 15, 2014.

    cz14 Posts: 25

    ONLY THE REGULAR CITIZENS GET TICKETS -- NOT ONE POLICE OFFICER WHILE IN THEIR PRIVATE CAR OR ANY OF THEIR WIFES--OR ANY MEMBER OF THE FIRE DEPT OR THEIR WIFES OR ANYONE THAT HAS A POSITION WITH CITY GOVERNMENT.---AND THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM STOPPED AND THEN TOLD TO HAVE A GOOD DAY.I WAS RIDEING WITH A FRIEND OF MINE THAT IS A FIREMAN---WE WERE STOPPED FOR 50 IN 30 MILE ZONE AND AS SOON AS HE SHOWED THE OFFICER HIS BADGE HE WAS TOLD SLOW DOWN AND HAVE A GOOD DAY. CALL CITY HALL AND ASK HOW MANY WARNING TICKETS WERE ISSUED.---ONE OFFICER TOLD ME THAT ON DUTY HE IS REQUIRED TO MAKE 10 TRAFFIC STOPS---THAT WILL PAY FOR THAT MOTORCYCLE REAL FAST.

     
  • Pete posted at 7:26 am on Fri, Dec 6, 2013.

    Pete Posts: 131

    Agree with your "follow the money" analysis Birdsong. Another aspect to this story is to notice the "lawlessness" and "unsafe conditions" occurring in HH and CC. Note these municipalities ticket totals are significantly lower! Can our paid and elected officials explain this discrepancy? LOL. No they can't because they won't admit to the financial windfall which is their true motivation.

     
  • familybirdsong posted at 9:10 am on Thu, Nov 28, 2013.

    familybirdsong Posts: 13

    Follow the money. It's all about the money not safety. I got ticketed for passing a barrier for telling the speed limit sign was 38 yards off the road not the required 6 foot. The officer in charge told me it wasn't their responsible to get the sign move. He got mad when I told him this wasn't safe. Told me to get the hell away. The speed trap had 5 cop cars darting in and out of traffic issuing tickets like blood in the water. When I told him he was morally wrong he called one of his cops to issue me a ticket. Safety NO it's all about revenue. Btw I'm fighting the ticket.

     
  • Pete posted at 7:10 am on Mon, Nov 25, 2013.

    Pete Posts: 131

    No apples and oranges mixed here. Killeen is a corporation (as in incorporated city) and it has $25 million in the bank. Corporations have been cutting worker hours for 30 years and shipping jobs overseas since NAFTA and before. Look how well Mexico is building its middle class while our economy is becoming haves and have nots, except for the patriotic, flag waving, thank you for your service corporations (including municipalities). And it shouldn't be obvious who I voted for because there is no use in voting democratic in "Fox News" country Texas.

     
  • Fran posted at 5:30 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Fran Posts: 54

    For "Pete's sake", don't let your envy card show. Nothing wrong with having adequate police protection in our communities. The police deserve the utmost respect! While your expression is against anyone having a 40 hour week job, its not the fault of these civil servants. Since you did a mix of apples and oranges between what the topic was and your comments, the new healthcare law,
    known as obamacare, is the main reason people's hours have been cut back. If you do not understand that, then its obvious for whom you voted for. You voted for the "Change", now continue to drink the Kool-aide and you will be right by morning (not)..
    I am for one, one who pays Federal taxes as oppose to those who get back more than they paid in withholding taxes, etc. and am happy to see some Federal money come back into the community.

     
  • Baylor posted at 4:57 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Baylor Posts: 188

    Come to think of it, I have been driving since 64, never been stopped by KPD. I just go the speed limit and things seem to turn out fine.

     
  • Pete posted at 2:28 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Pete Posts: 131

    Oh and the police get overtime while regular citizens can't 40 hours at a living wage? I'm sure the folks with the power (extra money) will be having some great holidays huh? While those they "serve" will be trying to come up with the money to give to the clerk at that new payment window. I feel so much safer now, because those in charge tell me I am. Ha ha.

     
  • Pete posted at 2:24 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Pete Posts: 131

    I'm shocked. Texas accepting FEDERAL GRANT MONEY!! Yet no outrage from the weekly commenters here? It is quite unsettling to me that you don't find this "government handout" as repulsive as you do enabling citizens to be able to afford healthcare or nutritious food. Guess in some instances you are for BIG government huh?

     
  • Fran posted at 2:20 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Fran Posts: 54

    Its obvious to probably everyone, that the closer one travels to or near the Ft Hood
    area, that the drivers act more reckless. I obey the traffic signs, including the speed limit. I do not like seeing my vehicle insurance costs go up to pay for these people's rants while driving, but it does, such as going from the high speed lane of a three lane road and then turning hard right across all the three lanes onto a ramp for Ft Hood at the last minute. It does not me "feel" compassionate for the people who get into crashes (accidents) while they attempt to drive like they possess professional NASCAR driver skills. They risk other driver's lives and I know that the Army teaches risk management. One can see that a majority are soldiers, because they are in uniform while driving. That brings about a negative image for the Army. So, I applaud the police handing out the tickets and hope they continue to do so. If they can't afford their car insurance as a result, let them ride a bicycle to post.

     
  • Bubba posted at 11:35 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 758

    My deepest desire is for them to ticket the left lane hogs.

     
  • Eliza posted at 9:22 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 899

    Agree with others, Good that the police have been able to stop and ticket as many that story has made note of .
    We have an international population and all have their own driving habits.
    We need more out on the street looking for these law breakers.
    The neighborhoods have their own culprits as well.

     
  • texpa1 posted at 9:21 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    texpa1 Posts: 5

    With all the speeding that occurs on 190, funding an aggressive program to fine these individuals could result in the highway construction project, the addition of extra police officers, the addition of a few new patrol cars, and the down town project, being paid for without any increase in taxes !!!!!!!

     
  • OldWoman posted at 8:29 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    OldWoman Posts: 28

    I would love to have some sort of speeding control in residential areas, where the streets are straight and wide, and the fools race through yield and stop signs on a daily basis as if on a dare. Our kids are not safe, people pulling out of their properties are not safe. I have started to yield on a straight away, not knowing if some crazed idiot is not racing to his dealer at the bottom of the hill. One of these days we will have a major, deadly accident, and then everybody will want to come up with laws to prevent this tragedy.

    [rolleyes]

     
  • barbie500 posted at 7:41 am on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    barbie500 Posts: 143

    I for one am glad they are out there giving tickets. The speeding in Killeen makes one think they are on a racetrack. The 55 mile in the work zone is totally ignored by everyone and sometimes you will look over on the access road and the people are passing you.

     

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