On December 13, 2023

Killington drivers run afoul of new speed limit

 

By Curt Peterson

Last Friday, Dec. 8, law enforcement officers stopped 11 drivers for speeding on Killington Road, all traveling at over 50 miles per hour in spite of the posted 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. Seven drivers received summonses, Killington Police Chief Whit Montgomery told selectmen Monday, Dec. 11. 

When the speed limit on Killington Road was reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph, Dec. 6, Montgomery told the Mountain Times there might be a “period of adjustment” — a modicum of leniency while people got used to the new limit.

The chief says the town of Killington is unique, because many of the drivers on Killington Roads are new or occasional visitors to the community.

“Because they aren’t here day-to-day, it’s very hard to educate them about our speed limits and other laws,” Montgomery said. “Each stop is potentially a new motorist to educate.”

But, he also said, the violators are a mixture of locals and visitors. Most people have slowed down, but there are always “outliers” who disregard the posted speed limits.

 

Montgomery’s message:

 “Please have respect for our... speed limits 

for the sake of everyone’s safety.”

 

Town Manager Michael Ramsey said he had heard complaints that the Killington Road speed limit signs are too small to be noticed, and larger signs have been ordered. The replaced signs will also be used on East Mountain Road where the speed limit will be adjusted in the New Year.

Montgomery said his department has three “radar signs” that flash an oncoming vehicle’s speed as it approaches, and they have ordered more. Not only are the signs “pretty effective,” they also gather data that helps plan KPD’s use of its limited resources.

“The signs report a vehicle count, highest speeds, lowest speeds and average speeds over periods of time,” Montgomery said. “We have a good idea when and where to patrol and show our presence.”

In addition to speed limit signs and officer presence, weather, traffic, the day of the week and the time of day help control the amount of speeding.

The department now has three full-time officers, including the chief, and a fourth is in a long-term training and certification process that takes eight months to complete. And often only one of the officers is on duty. 

Montgomery says on busy weekends when there can be up to 20,000 visitors, their resources are stretched very thin, and the officers have to respond to other calls as well as monitor speeding.

Killington’s goal in speed limit enforcement isn’t to produce revenue, the chief said. The purpose is to make the town’s roads safer for pedestrians and other vehicles. The fines levied are more about driver education than fundraising.

Montgomery’s message: “Please have respect for our residents, our visitors, our businesses, our pedestrians and our speed limits for the sake of everyone’s safety.”

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