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Local Editorials

Our view: Police crackdown on 'Yorkville Speedway' necessary

Bridge Street (Route 47) in downtown Yorkville.
Bridge Street (Route 47) in downtown Yorkville.

It was a short news article--86 words to be exact--that we posted on our website (KendallCountyNow.com) and on page 2 of last week's Record. In case you missed it, the article concerned a crackdown on speeders and cell phone violators on Route 47 in downtown Yorkville by Yorkville Police, the Kendall County Sheriff's Office and Illinois State Police that started June 9 and continues through July 7. A portion of the article read, "During the enforcement details, police will be looking for speeders, cell phone violators and vehicles turning right at red lights in the downtown area, according to Yorkville police."

We've come to expect a big reaction from our readers any time we post an article on our website and Facebook page concerning area police traffic enforcement campaigns and that's exactly what happened last week. Within 24 hours the article had netted several thousands reaches and more than 40 shares on Facebook and numerous comments. And, as per usual, the commenters could be grouped into two camps, those in favor of the campaign and those strongly opposed. One reader in favor of the campaign commented that "Everyone drives through downtown like it's the Indy 500. Good for the city to enforce the laws. I saw a car pass and blow through the crosswalk with a boy on a bicycle damn near get hit!" Meanwhile, other commenters suggested the campaign is unnecessary and a ploy by police to increase ticket revenue for the city. They suggested police should be devoting their time to other, more serious crimes.

As for us, we count ourselves firmly in the camp of those readers who believe Route 47 through downtown is a speedway and in the interest of public safety police need to actively enforce the posted speed limits. The fact of the matter is that since the Illinois Department of Transportation widened the highway to four lanes from Route 71 north to Countryside Parkway four years ago, the highway has turned into Yorkville's answer to a NASCAR track, with motorists roaring up and down Bridge Street day and night.

By now stepping up their enforcement of posted speed limits and the state law banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, police are doing what they can to keep traffic moving, but at speeds deemed safe by the traffic engineers who designed the highway. By so doing, they're also sending a message to the motoring public that, yes, you may get stopped and ticketed if you drive too fast or are seen yakking away or texting on your cell phone while driving in Yorkville. It's a thought we would like all motorists to keep in mind who travel through the city each and every day.

As for those who would rather police not conduct such campaigns and don't want to contribute to what they consider a cash grab for the city, they'll find they''ll have no worries about being stopped and ticketed if they put down the cell phones and drive at the posted speed limits.

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