Southwest Speed Racers

Southwest Speed Racers

Local police cars vary in design; some are ‘camouflaged’ while others stand out.

Sarah Fifield, staff writer

The wise words of Robert Frost, “I took the road less traveled by,” is a thought that should be taken into con- sideration by the Blue Valley Southwest community.

Lining the main roads taken to school day-to-day, the police are out to catch those with a need for speed.

“I see the cops almost every day,” junior Alexa Mancini said. “Maybe one on the way to school, but at least two on the way home.”

Whether it is five or 20 miles over the speed limit, the Overland Park Police and Johnson County Sheriffs have the right to pull over any driver who is breaking the law. According to Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP), it is a violation of Kansas law to speed as little as 1 mph over the posted speed limit. The law states speed violations of 10 or less miles

per hour over the speed limit in 55 to 70 mph zones will not count as moving violations for purposes of driving records.

Many cops are hidden in the bushes or neighborhood entrances in their sneaky cars that are designed in order to come off as any ordinary car — that is, until drivers are right on top of them going sixteen miles over the speed limit.

“The ultimate goal of a police force is voluntary com- pliance of a law,” said senior James Murray. “Hiding and using undercover cars is just one way of ‘blending in’. People always act on their best behav- ior around cops. If they don’t know they are there, then you get their natural behaviors.”

With police hiding out around corners in their incognito vehicles with their radar gun held out as though they are contaminated, driv- ers are aware to be cautious only when rounding bends or corners. While this is a sneaky

and somewhat-good idea, many drivers are still ticketed for their speeding prior to turning.

“It seems that cops are showing up all over the place,” senior Alex Cohen said. “The worst is when they hide and try to catch people.”

When a person speeds, their life is put at risk. KHP also stated that a person’s chance of death or serious injury in a crash doubles for every 10 mph over 50 mph their vehicle travels.

Many reasons people speed are because they are late, there is an emergency, or just for fun. In very few cases are rea- sons for speeding worth $150, or more, depending on the mph over the speed limit.

So, next time someone is feeling like Speed Racer or wants to feel the breeze in their hair, think about the conse- quences and whether or not endangering oneself or others is worth the risk.