Click to play an audio version of this article —
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (March 24, 2022) – The Lansing Police Department is going to make speed enforcement a special priority in the coming weeks, and is urging the community to drive safely.
Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips said the “blitz” is the start of a multi-tiered approach to address speeding on Lansing’s streets, a problem he believes has increased since the pandemic began.
“I want to give everybody a fair warning — a heads up — that this is coming. I want you to talk to your kids about it and I want you to talk your neighbors about it, because Lansing used to have that reputation that you don’t speed in Lansing and you don’t mess around in Lansing. I want that reputation back,” Phillips said.
Lansing Police tackle speeding
Since becoming chief last summer, Phillips has worked to hire more officers, an effort that is starting to pay off as the LPD fills out its ranks. He said the larger staff numbers will allow the department to dedicate an officer from every shift to primarily monitor traffic speed.
“They’ll be running radar. Every day they’re going to be out there doing that, and that’ll be on every shift,” Phillips said.
The department will also put some of the resources it has used to set up seatbelt enforcement zones in recent months toward creating speed enforcement zones. Phillips said 32 speed enforcement zones are planned for the month of April.
From past experience, Phillips said he’s expecting officers in these speed enforcement zones to write two tickets an hour.
A third initiative to curb speeding in Lansing will come in the form of unmarked police cars performing what Phillips called “more covert” enforcement.
“Our desire is to get compliance. We’d rather have people comply without having to do tickets,” Phillips said. “If I can get people to comply on their own and I don’t have to write any tickets, now I can redirect these resources and go out and fight some crime.”
Consequences of speeding
The LPD’s plans come as some Lansing citizens have complained online, in community policing meetings, and in other public Village meetings about excessive speed in town.
Beyond inconvenience and noise, excessive speed has been the cause of multiple serious car wrecks in town in recent years, Phillips said.
Examples include a fatal motorcycle collision in November, a crash of a stolen vehicle in September, a car that crashed down into the Little Calumet River in June, and a crashed car that caught fire last May.
“Speed is just as important as fighting crime because we’ve had a couple fatalities,” Phillips said.
Speed limits for residential streets in Lansing are 25 miles per hour, while larger streets have posted speed limits.
The standard fine for a speeding ticket in Lansing is $164, Phillips said. He also mentioned that three moving violations in a year results in a suspended license.
“I don’t want any of our residents to get tickets,” Phillips said. “But I’m telling you, if you’re breaking the law, if you’re speeding, you’re going to get that ticket.”
The Lansing Police Department is located at 2710 170th Street.