Platte City changes ordinances for speeding violations

The line will be at 19 miles per hour for those caught speeding in Platte City. At its September regular meeting, the Platte City Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a change to municipal court regulations to comply with Missouri Senate Bill 5, which regulates fines and the collection of revenues. The legislation was brought about after problems were found in Ferguson, Mo. and other municipalities and seeks to standardize procedures and avoid inherent system flaws.

The biggest change comes in the requirement to complete all charging documents within 24 hours for municipal charges. This led to a separate change to Platte City ordinance to appoint Andy Coulson of Witt, Hicklin and Snider as an additional assistant city prosecutor, which the board also passed unanimously.

Senate Bill 5 also eliminates the practice of mandatory court appearances for minor traffic violations. Platte City changed its code for speeding to separate minor and major traffic violations.

Now, speeding more than 19 miles per hour, speeding in a construction zone and speeding in a school zone will be separate offenses that require a mandatory court date. Speeding violations at 19 miles per hour or under will be a “minor traffic violation,” and offenders will not have to appear in court and can pay online.

Offenders can also voluntarily choose to make a court appearance.

During the earlier public safety subcommittee meeting, aldermen questioned why the line was drawn at 19 and if additional signage would be required to denote school zones. Platte City police chief Carl Mitchell said a number had to be picked to differentiate between regular and minor offenses, even if that meant that 45 in a 25 and 65 in a 45 would have the same punishment, for example.

Mitchell and city officials also said that it was unlikely the area on Highway 92 in front of the Platte County school campus would be marked as a school zone due to its heavy usage. No other signage changes are planned at this time.

Numerous changes to code should be expected in the coming years to comply with Senate Bill 5.