Lower speed limits in Colorado Springs neighborhoods means increased speeding tickets and revenue for the city. It all started this summer as part of the neighborhood speeding program. There's a 25 mile per hour speed limit in all neighborhoods unless otherwise posted. And because of that traffic enforcers say the city is expected to issue 25% more tickets this year than last.
Members of the neighborhood speeding program say most drivers have started slowing down since the campaign started in May. According to Thad Neil, a transportation planner, newly established speed bumps like the one on University Drive are showing great results. "There's a significant decrease in speeds on that street and a significant increase in neighborhood quality of life."
The decrease averages about 10 miles an hour and slower speeds have also lowered noise polution. What' also on the decline is the number of accidents in the city. According to police reports, total accidents are down about 10%. Injury accidents are down 6%. Deputy Chief Pat McElderry says the 2,400 additional speeding tickets issued through the neighborhood speeding program have been a costly reminder to some. "I think it's going to be a long effort for people to change some of their speeding behaviors but I think we're on the right tack."
Nearly $240,000 in fines and court costs have been collected so far this year. Some say the program is a way for the City to fill its coffers in the midst of budget tightening. Police disagree. They say speeding has always been a serious problem. They say 65% of speeders in the City drive 10 miles an hour or more over posted limits. 99% of those caught plead guilty or are convicted.