Larry Collins

Rash of Multi-Vehicle Pileups Prompts Speed Crackdown

Drivers on northbound Texas 121 near DFW Airport will see an increase in motorcycle officers checking for speeders

Police officers who patrol near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport are cracking down on speeders after a string of serious multi-vehicles crashes.

Grapevine police said there have been four multi-vehicle crashes since late December along northbound Texas 121 near the DFW Airport exit.

"When we see more than one crash in the same location that immediately becomes, ‘What’s happening in that area that’s causing more than one serious crash and how can we stop it?'" Grapevine police spokeswoman Amanda McNew said. "In all of these cases, the failure to control speed has been the top factor. So, speed is the issue causing these major crashes."

A 13-car pileup Dec. 26 and a Jan. 18 crash involving eight cars prompted concerns from Grapevine's veterans officers.

"It was a lot of cars. It was the most I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Shane Hardin, senior Grapevine police officer, said of the 13-vehicle crash.

McNew pointed to failure to control speed as being the top factor in these cases.

Motorcycle officers are now beefing up patrols to make sure speeders are held accountable.

"Cars around here doing 80 and 90 mph. Things are just happening quick as the speed increases," Hardin said. "Your reaction times are lessened with that."

The area where the crashes are happening is near ongoing highway construction.

"So, the speed limit is going down from 65 to 55. So, there is a drop right there," McNew said. "People are going a lot faster and they are not slowing down when they should. They’re going too fast to hit their brakes in time and slow down."

McNew said the average speed that people are getting tickets for has been 80 mph. "So, these are not people going a few miles over. This is significant speed and they are causing danger to everyone around them," she added.

The highest clocked speed for someone pulled over in the new push was 90 mph.

Because the area is in a construction zone, fines could be doubled if a construction worker is present. "They are out here trying to do a job and get it done as safely as they can," Hardin said. "I feel like it’s our job to get out here and make it safe for them as well as motorists."

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