Cape County roads could see speed limit reduction

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - You might see a slower speed limit on a county road near you.

The Cape Special Road District sent a letter to the County Commission wanting to move forward on reducing the speed limits on county roads in its jurisdiction. The Cape Special Road District governs about half of the county roads in Cape Girardeau County, most of them being the roads that lead directly into the city.

The commission and road district will hold three public meetings, before the county commission votes on reducing the speed limits.

"It's all about safety, it's all about how fast these people drive on these roads," said Cape Girardeau County Commissioner Paul Koeper.

Koeper said safety is the reason why the road district wants to reduce speed limits on its county roads.

"They're curvy, they're up and down, and it's not made for 60mph speed limits," said Koeper. "County roads were build back a hundred years ago, farm to market type of roads, they follow just some land line, or up and down the hills, there's no real straight path to them, so they're not the straightest roads."

The district wants to change most of the speed limits from a state blanket speed of 60 mph, to limits between 25 mph and 35 mph.

"When I drive the roads, and I see people and I see the width of the roads, I think it's very unsafe for them to say that they can go 60 mph," said Koeper.

Lt. Chris Hull with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department, said he supports the idea. He said they get numerous complaints from homeowners saying people are driving too fast. But he said when they speed check, most of the drivers are usually still going under the 60 mph limit.

"When they had the speed limit at 65, it was too fast for this road," said Louis Caragine.

Caragine lives just off of County Road 205. About two years ago, the road district changed that speed limit to 35 mph, to help reduce the number of wrecks. He said the change has helped, Caragine said the road just needs to be wider.

"There is no margin of error, young drivers, somebody gets nervous, they just move off that lane a little bit, they heat a leaf, its wet, there's not shoulder up here, most of the accidents occur at this curve that I've noticed," said Caragine.

Koeper said as commissioner, he's worked, and continues to work towards widening more of the roads in the county.

Caragine said the 35 miles per hour speed limit is appropriate for the road near his home, but doesn't think it should apply to all county roads.

"I don't think every county road is that dangerous per se I would not say every county road has to be 35 mph, in fact I would actually say, that's probably not true, I think it each depends on the road," said Caragine.

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