On Monday, AAA Kansas presented a state-of-the art, vehicle-mounted speed radar unit to the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office. The equipment donation was made possible by a grant from the AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund.
“Excessive speed is a well-documented factor in countless traffic crashes, many of which lead to property damage, injuries and fatalities,” said Shawn Steward, Senior Public Affairs Specialist with AAA Kansas, who, along with Al Ackerman, law enforcement liaison for the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), was in Beloit to present the radar unit to Sheriff Tony Perez and Deputy Matthew Kuiack.
“According to the latest statistics in Kansas, there are nearly 4,500 speed-related crashes annually, or one crash every two hours caused by speeding,” AAA Kansas’ Steward said. “These crashes led to nearly 2,000 injuries and 71 fatalities.”
Studies also have proven that slowing traffic down greatly reduces the chances of a fatal accident involving pedestrians and automobiles. A pedestrian hit by a car at 40 mph has a 90% fatality rate; at 20 mph the fatality rate decreases to 10%.
With those statistics in mind and AAA Kansas and KDOT’s focus on keeping the Sunflower State’s roads and highways safe, the organizations set out to identify a few law enforcement agencies in the state that could use additional resources to help manage speed.
“Al Ackerman from KDOT helped us identify the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office as a deserving recipient of such resources,” explained AAA Kansas’ Steward. “It is a pleasure, on behalf of the trustees of the AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund, to present Sheriff Perez and Undersheriff Martin with the latest vehicle-mounted speed radar technology to help with safety efforts in your county. We hope the sheriff’s office enjoys and gets good use out of the radar.”
“We urge all motorists to stick to the speed limit, use their seatbelts every trip and eliminate distractions such as cell phones while driving,” Steward said. “If these things happen, Mitchell County roads will be a much safer place to be.”