The next time you hit the streets in Colorado Springs, you may want to slow down. The city has lowered its speed limits in some areas to 25-miles-per-hour unless otherwise posted.
The new 25-miles-per-hour speed limit signs are now going up, but police won't start enforcing the new ordinance until Friday. And after that, the fines are stiff: $10 for every mile per hour over the speed limit. The Colorado Springs City Council voted to raise the fines this past spring.
Police Chief LuisVelez says the new 25-mile-per-hour limits could increase city revenues by as much as $800,000 to 900,000 a year. Some critics would say this is a ploy to raise more revenues for the city. But the chief disagrees. "You know, I've heard that argument since the first time, especially because of our budgetary situation. I've heard that argument a lot, and I don't buy it. I know that the reason that we're doing this is a matter of safety."
Chief Velez cites some numbers that show a correlation between speed and safety. He says since city cops have cracked down on speeders. Total accidents have dropped about 10 percent. And some drivers appreciate the slower speeds as a way to protect their families. But others feel the limit is just too low.
Also, don't be fooled when you see a 25-miles-per-hour sign in front of a sign with a higher limit. The city has to inform drivers entering the city about the limits because they're different than the state statute.
Colorado Springs will not be alone in these new 25-miles-per-hour speed limits. Sixteen other cities across the state also follow these same rules.