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Residents encourage more enforcement at deadly intersection

Police are cracking down on speeding at a deadly intersection, where accidents have sent 15 to the hospital and killed one person since the first of this year alone at the intersection of Route A and Highway 61 in New London, Missouri.

The first part of that crackdown Wednesday had Ralls County Deputies and New London Police pulling over 30 people in just three hours for speeding, something residents said is needed.

According to people who live and work in the area the intersection has been a concern for a long time, with the crashes and the speeding, they said they want drivers to know speeding there isn’t safe, and police said they plan to crack down on those who aren’t listening.

Police said it only takes a few minutes to catch someone at the intersection.

“They’re pretty much in [the zone], you know, they have their cruise control on, and they’re just, it’s a small area, they’re just gonna try and whip on through there,” said Deena Bud who drives through the intersection every day, welcoming the sight of the enforcement the other day.

“I agree that something needs to be done because there have been so many accidents there, and as you can see there aren’t any impediments, people need to start paying attention,” said Bud.

Police said that’s why it’s they’re planning to do more enforcement like they did Wednesday at the intersection.

“It’s just a busy intersection for one, and the second thing is people pay no attention out there, people speed everyday out there and again we’re just trying to draw attention to the intersection and get people to slow down,”  said Chief Ryan Sparks of the New London Police Department.

Chief Sparks took part in the operation Wednesday. He said if there’s one thing that comes of this, he hopes people just slow down.

“There’s a recommended speed of 55, it’s just the recommended speed it’s not enforceable, but I really wish people would go 55 through that intersection,” said Sparks.

He said they’ve approached MoDOT on potentially making that suggestion the law, but no decision has been made yet.

For Bud, she’s not sure that would even help.

“I mean people are going to speed anyway though, it couldn’t hurt to lower it but I don’t know if people are going to slow down so much when they’re on 61 you know,” said Bud.

The Ralls County Sheriff said operations like the one Wednesday’s ‘traffic safety saturation’ will continue throughout the peak travel season.

They reported during the three hours the Ralls County Sheriff’s office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and New London police department were out there watching the intersection, they issued 15 citations and 15 warnings.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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