YourView: Showing License Plates of Speeding Drivers

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COLUMBIA - Komu 8's Jim Riek's story about where drivers speed in Columbia caused quite a stir on our website. Some people complained about the newsworthiness of the story, others about the use of license plates.

Columbia resident, Charles Willard, wrote to KOMU 8 in an email. He questioned the newsworthiness of the story.

"Jim, People speed? Really? I'm shocked," Willard said. ‘As news, this falls into the Dog Bites Man category. Human nature is to go a few miles over the limit. The police look for those traveling 10.. 20.. 30 miles per hour too fast."

But one Columbia driver, Dalton Dinwiddie, said he does not think people should be speeding at all.

"That's how people get hit by cars and that's how your best friend gets taken away from you," Dinwiddie said. "That happened with me."

KOMU 8 news director, Stacey Woelfel, said he thinks people want us to be looking out for this sort of thing.

"There is no medium for the people to go after and fix those problems, they have to depend on somebody that has the ear of the politicians, the chance to talk to a lot of people at one time," Woelfel said. "And that's what we do."

Another Columbia driver, Ben Rogers, wrote to KOMU 8's email. He said he was disappointed by its use of license plates.

"While I know that I am not alone in this, I find it very inconsiderate and quite frankly inappropriate to show license plates and faces of the vehicles and drivers in the story," Rogers said.

Columbia driver, Samara Eagen, said she can see why people would be upset about our use of license plates.

"I know you guys want to show people where people are speeding," Eagen said. "[But] I wouldn't like it (to show my plate if I were speeding). I don't want to show that I broke the law."

Woelfel said there is no law against showing license plates.

"Those are cars licensed by the state department, they are driving in a public street paid by tax payer's money, we were looking at it from a public area," Woelfel said. "There is no expectation of privacy with a car driving on the street."

To Dinwiddie, the bottom line is people need to drive safe.

"I mean, whether you speed or not, the smarter decision is to not speed and to be safe," Dinwiddie said.

Woelfel said police may the drivers a grace period.

"I don't think they have to [give them a grace period]," Woelfel said. "I think the people who are picked on the story were going far over the speed limit before we mention and show it."

You can see the original story here

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