Chillicothe police patrolling more to tackle the town’s speeding problem

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CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD) — The Chillicothe Police department is issuing a warning to those who may have a leadfoot. Officers said they’ve recently noticed a substantial uptick in speeding.

Many of the town’s residents also said the wheels on the streets have been going too fast for comfort.

“I’ve had people pass me at 80, 90 [mph] yeah, it’s been bad,” one resident said. “Four-way stops have been bad and people have even flipped me off because I’ll go the speed limit and block them.”

This resident said Fourth Street is one of the prime problematic locations. She also said Route 29 coming in and out of town is an issue.

These incidents are leading to complaints of drivers disregarding speed limits, stop signs and streetlights.

“They just blow through them,” one resident said. “If they don’t see any cars coming, they just go, so it has been a problem.”

This is a problem Chillicothe police are hoping to correct with extra patrolling to prevent excessive speeding and bad driving habits.

“We want you to slow down, it’s not that we want to go out and patrol and write tickets,” Scott Mettille, Chillicothe Police Chief, said. ” But with the speeds that we’re finding and people going through town, it’s just one of those things that we feel is necessary at this time.”

Officers said, over the past few weeks, there have been multiple drivers going 60, 70, 80, and even 100 mph when they’re pulled over.

Mettille said, over the course of the last two to three months, it’s not uncommon to see people driving through town 15-35 mph over the speed limit. He also said it’s not just Chillicothe residents speeding, but even people passing through the town.

“The faster you go, the less control you have,” Mettille said. “So, whether it’s 30 mph over in a 20 mph zone, or 25 mph zones, or 55 mph zones, the faster you go, the less likely you are to be able to stop or swerve or, in essence, be safe.”

Mettille said they’ve also issued a warning post on the police department’s Facebook page. He said, for the most part, people have been receptive and have even been telling officers what other areas are hotspots for speeding.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially to keep everybody safe and I know there’s a lot of speeding that happens,” Leslie Isbell, a Chillicothe resident, said.

“I really hope that with the police monitoring, this is going to make a difference,” one resident said.

Mettille said they’re always using the police department’s Facebook page as an educational tool to let people know what they’re doing.

He said he hopes with the heads-up of extra patrolling and potential citations, people will take heed and start slowing down.

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