Kansas

Some refunds issued, corn speed limit discrepancy questions remain

 

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Followed on Sunday FactFinder 12 survey revealing discrepancies in some corn speed limits, more information comes to light as more questions are asked. FactFinder 12 investigator Hailey Tucker found that 70 people were fined for speeding on the streets, but some weren’t technically speeding because the posted limit didn’t match what the city’s ordinance stipulates.

Among the questions that haven’t yet been answered are how many people the situation has impacted because those speed limits have not been obeyed in the past five years. That means people like Ben Nichols, who was cited as driving 53 out of 40, but wasn’t technically speeding since the city books had that stretch of road at 55 mph, were wrongfully fined. Nichols got his money back, but he was far from the only one.

“They refunded the full cost of the ticket, the full $158,” he said.

The ticket Nichols received last year was the first in ten years.

“I was shaking, trying to get everything because I have some anxiety and I’m getting my driving license and I’m looking for my insurance,” he said of being fined.

Like many, Nichols paid for his fare without question. But after FactFinder 12 revealed the problem with some speed limits in Maize, we wanted to help more people like him. Although he was relieved to get his money back, Nichols said the situation is frustrating.

FactFinder 12 found that five streets in Maize had incorrectly posted speed limits, according to the city ordinance. These areas included:

  • 7900 to 10300 W. 45th St. N.
  • 12000 to 13500 W. 45th St. N.
  • 3800 to 4100 N. Corn Road.
  • 4000 to 4500 N. 119th St. West

In one year, 70 people were fined for speeding on these roads, but the signs have been wrong since 2017. Maize has been refunding inaccurate tickets since 2022 issued by the police force, but what if you were stopped by the sheriff’s office Sedgwick County or the Kansas Highway Patrol?

City of Maize Administrator Richard LaMunyon said the city has no way of knowing whether KHP or Sedgwick County deputies have ticketed areas with discrepancies between the posted and actual speed limit even though Nichols has recovered his money, a serious concern for him is that after he got his ticket, his insurance rate went up by about $50 a month.

“I had to disclose that I had a speeding ticket and the insurance, of course, said well, we’re a little tougher with our speeding tickets,” Nichols said. “I have no other quotes. I have a safe driving record for 15 years. Maybe I told him I did [the ticket] there was something to it. Some prices go up over time. (But) $50 seemed like a lot.

LaMunyon said those tickets that were erroneously issued last year shouldn’t see an increase. But what if you were wrongfully fined before last year? LaMunyon said the city will continue to review and adjust.

While Nichols’ situation appears to be resolved, he does care for others

“I’m thinking about those other people who have been dealing with this for how long,” she said.

If you have a situation where you think a FactFinder 12 investigation might help, please call 316-831-6166 or email [email protected]

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