|Heavy traffic volume on Range Line Road is a positive sign for Joplin’s economy. However, this presents certain challenges for traffic safety, according to an advisory from the Joplin Police Department.
In an effort to continue to reduce crashes along the Range Line corridor, the Joplin Police Department, Joplin Public Works and MODOT have teamed together to educate drivers on the use of the center turn lane. Portable message boards have been placed along Range Line to remind drivers that the center turn lane is for left turns only. It is unlawful to use these lanes as a merge lane.
“When these lanes are used as a merge lane it reduces the divers visibility and congests traffic, which is a typical cause for crashes” says Lt. Darren Gallup. "Improper Lane Use was noted as the probable contributing circumstance in 11% of crashes this year."
The Joplin Police Department is pleased to have reported a decrease in automobile crashes throughout the entire year. In November of 2009 there were 149 crashes throughout the city compared to 200 crashes for November 2008. There have been 1,814 crashes since January 1, 2009 compared to 1,953 in the same time period of 2008.
“Our goal is to reduce crashes below 2000 for the entire year through proactive enforcement and driver education,” Gallup said.
Editor's note: What this post is suggesting is that rather than attempting to make a lefthand turn from a driveway on Range Line without a break in heavy traffic, (or from a driveway on any other busy street, for that matter) drivers should turn right and figure out another way of going in the opposite direction.