A need for speed

Dan Field
Special to the Lake Sun, USA TODAY NETWORK
Donations are being asked for the purchase of a speed trailer to help deter speeding in Lake Ozark.

Speeding on City of Lake Ozark streets – as it is around most of the Lake of the Ozarks -- is a constant problem. Posted speed limits are often ignored, posing potentially dangerous situations.

But a Lake Ozark alderman is doing something about it.

Matt Wright, voted into office in April, noticed several cars speeding on Valley Road during the Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals car show in early May. Valley Drive is often used as an alternate route when Bagnell Dam Blvd. is closed for special events. Wright is also a resident on School Road where he’s developing a cluster of tiny homes. Again, he observed motorists speeding, especially when they realize the street is a dead-end street – even though it’s posted as such.

Wright approached Police Chief Gary Launderville about a portable speed trailer that monitors the speed of approaching vehicles and is used as a deterrent to speeding. The chief said buying a unit – which costs between $7,000 and $15,000 – was well beyond the LOPD’s budget.

“Wright took it upon himself to begin a fundraising campaign,” Launderville said.

It’s the intent at this point to buy the speed trailer because of Wright’s fundraising efforts.

After contacts with a speed trailer company, the LOPD discovered a demonstator unit was available for use with the possibility of buying it after a month.

To date, Wright has raised more than $5,000 toward a discounted price of just shy of $10,000. The trailer collects various data including speeds, traffic counts, and more.

The speed trailer was set up on Welsh Road on The North Shore the first week and recorded more than 5,000 vehicles. As of Monday, July 9, the trailer was on Oak Ridge Road. It will be moved to various locations as needed.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the neighborhoods,” Launderville noted.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so to the Lake Ozark Police Benevolent Association and drop a check off at the LOPD, 3162 Bagnell Dam Blvd.; or through PayPal, Venmo, check or cash. For PayPal, visit paypal.me/lopbal; for Venmo, search @LakeOzarkPolice-Benevolent.