A Chesterfield resident brought his campaign for what he sees as fair speed limit enforcement to the city council Wednesday night, spurring a debate among himself and Chesterfield's public officials.
Steve Boriss has received a number of speeding and other traffic tickets in the Chesterfield area over the last 20 years and told the council that he was a victim of speed traps whose only purpose was to raise revenue for the city.
“Sometimes the problem is not that the citizen has a lead foot,” Boriss said. “Sometimes in the way it treats its citizens, it’s the government that has a lead foot.”
It was an allegation directly opposed by Mayor Bruce Geiger who said concern for public safety motivated police officers to issue traffic citations. He also noted Boriss received three tickets for speeding for traveling above 30 mph in a 20 mph school zone.
“We don’t enforce our speed limits for the purpose of generate revenue. We enforce them for the purpose of the safety of our residents,” Geiger said.
The allegedly speed trap is a portion of Olive Boulevard in front of Faust Park. Boriss had previously brought his complaints to the city, which resulted in the council asking MoDOT to conduct a traffic study of Olive Boulevard and Clarkson Road.
MoDOT concluded that the current speed limit of 40 mph in front of Faust Park was too low and recommended that it be raised to 45 mph. A bill making that change and other adjustments was approved by the council Wednesday night, but not without opposition from Alderman Elliot Grissam.
“There’s a lot of left turns in and out of the subdivisions and businesses throughout that entire piece of Olive Street,” Grissom said. "Raising the speed limit in the urban parts of the city raises risk with essentially no benefit."
He added that by his estimation increasing the speed limit 5 mph on the 5 mile stretch of Olive Boulevard in question would only shave off 60 seconds from the total travel time.
Despite the disagreement, Boriss and Geiger thanked each other for working together to study and then adjust the speed limit on Olive Boulevard. However, Boriss swore to continue his fight through the formation of an organization called Freedom from Un-American Speed Enforcement, or FUSE.
According to his website, some of FUSE’s goals are:
- Develop and distribute municipal legislation to correct the problems of local speed enforcement.
- Serve as a clearinghouse for learning that can improve local speed enforcement legislation and administration.
- Monitor progress in the community and provide feedback.
- Maintain a website to communicate with the community.