How Lee’s Summit Police Reduced Crashes on Route 291 By Half
On June 1, 2023, the Lee's Summit Police Department consciously started a project to reduce crashes on Route 291 from Highway 50 to NE Mulberry Street that reduced crashes by 50 percent, here's how they accomplished it!
Route 291 is a state highway that runs from Interstate 49/Route 71 in Harrisonville to Interstate 435 in Kansas City. It was originally designed, and known from 1939 to 1971 as "US 71 Bypass". In Lee's Summit Route 291 intersects with Highway 50, as well as an interchange with Highway 150. The route also runs through the main part of the City and connects and runs concurrently with 470 until it ends at Interstate 435, according to Wikipedia.
From experience, Route 291 is one of three non Interstate routes Google Maps favors to get people from Route 50, more or less north over to Interstates 470, 70, and 435 depending on where you're going. For me, Route 291 is what Google Maps usually suggests when I head to Liberty or Independence. While heading downtown, or places further north and west Google Maps usually suggests Route 71 or Highway 350.
In Lee's Summit, that means Route 291 has a lot of traffic. Both locals trying to get around town, as well as those people using Highway 50 to get into Kansas City or its closer suburbs. It's also a route that has a fair amount of traffic lights through town too.
Crashes on Route 291 Cut In Half
On June 1, 2023, the Lee's Summitt Police Department started what they call the "M-291 Crash Reduction Project". We won't penalize them for not coming up with a snappier name, because well it pretty much tells you what the police department wanted to accomplish.
Since June 1, Lee's Summit Police have made it a point to stop drivers and talk with them about violations they've observed that typically cause crashes. By the numbers, officers conducted 124 stops, issued 59 tickets, and 108 warnings. These interactions with motorists have reduced crashes by 50 percent! In their Facebook post, they also shared something they have recently learned, "A statistic was recently shared with us; for every car stop that another driver witnesses, their driving improves for at least the next 15 minutes."
Be careful out there, and do your best not to get pulled over for a talking too from one of Lee's Summit's finest.