(KMOV)-- A viewer emailed us with a complaint about how St. Ann is going about catching people speeding on I-70 near the airport. An officer on the third floor of a three-story office building across from the interstate clocks drivers from there and radios down to waiting police cars on the ground telling officers who to pull over.
The viewer calls this "shady."
Chief Bob Schrader was happy for us to see the operation and to talk about it. He says the motivation isn't economy driven but safety driven. He says in the first six months of 2010, there were 42 car crashes on the 3/4 mile stretch of I-70 in St. Ann. He says after they started clocking people from their perch in July 2010 there was a 75-percent drop in accidents the last six months of the year... just 10.
"We're not talking about little fender benders. These are serious accidents. So a 75-percent reduction in accidents tells me what we're doing in the accident reduction corridor (ARC) is working," says Schrader.
He says his goal isn't to get drivers to pay tickets but to get drivers to slow down.
He doesn't like it being called a speed trap. He says if it were a speed trap they'd ticket drivers for going just a few miles over the 60 miles per hour speed limit. The chief says they only pull people over going 71 miles per hour or more.
St. Ann police do their speed enforcement from the former Drury Inns office building several days a week for several hours at a time.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.