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MoDOT wants to reduce the speed limit on Range Line Road - KOAM TV 7

MoDOT wants to reduce the speed limit on Range Line Road

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The thousands of us who drive on Joplin's Range Line Road might have to slow down a bit.  The Missouri Department of Transportation has completed a survey concerning the busy road and recommends a lower speed limit.

MoDOT is proposing to reduce the speed limit on Range Line Road from its current 45 miles per hour limit to 40 miles per hour.  MoDOT presented the proposal to the Joplin Traffic Commission after completing a study in June on the overall safety of the roadway.

"If the traffic is already flowing at an average of 40 miles per hour, or four to five points under the speed limit, reducing that number might help with the severity of those accidents and the injuries that people are sustaining," says Rusty Rives of the Joplin Police Department.

"What they've found after they've done the study based on the AASHTO Guidelines, which is a federal standard for determining roadway speeds, is that the prevailing speed being the primary, combined with the number of access points on Range Line and the crash history, is that the recommended speed for this roadway should be reduced from 45 to 40," says David Hunt of the Joplin Traffic Commission.

According to the study the average speed on Range Line sits at about 42 miles per hour.  While many drivers may not be speeding the flow of traffic can be dangerous for fellow drivers, which lead the traffic commission to approve MoDOT's request.

The study also found since 2007  there have been nearly 3,000 rear-end accidents on Range Line Road, including three fatalities.

Joplin police officers believe if the city council gives the green light to the speed reduction they could see that number go down.

MoDOT officials were unavailable for comment on this story.

The vote is in the hands of the Joplin City Council but there is no word on when that vote will take place.

If the city council approves the proposal the new speed limit could change as soon as it's posted.

The measure is not on the agenda for the council meeting Monday evening (July 15).

Read the full study:  MoDOT Range Line Road Speed Study (PDF)

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