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St. Louis police ramp up traffic patrols to cut down on fatal crashes

Police marked 20 high-accident locations around the city to increase patrols and focus on catching moving violations

ST. LOUIS — Steve Swartz looked out from his wife's coffee shop on the corner of Washington Ave and 4th Street at the exact moment a car turned the wrong way down a one-way.

"Accident-wise, we generally see people running red lights, and not paying attention. We also see a number of people that turn the wrong way onto 4th Street, being a one-way street going the wrong way," Swartz said.

The Washington Avenue and 4th Street intersection is just one problem area police recognized. 

Each captain from the St. Louis City's six districts picked three high-accident locations within their boundaries, and the traffic division provided three locations on area highways as well.

"We've noticed that the fatalities increased and that the problem contributing circumstances for these crashes was speeding in about 40% of the cases," St. Louis Police Department Lieutenant Paul Lauer said.

Lieutenant Lauer says with fewer people on the roads during the pandemic, they're seeing drivers speed more. 

They've handled over 250 fatal crashes since 2018 across the city, 65 of those involved pedestrians.

"We're out there trying to get hazardous violations. Mostly speeding, but also improper passing, following too close. Those types of violations you know that contribute to crashes," Lauer said.

You can expect to see more patrols on highways 64 and 70. 

Officers are focused on moving violations like running stop signs, red lights, and speeding. Swartz supports whatever it takes to make it safer.

"Police and the street department do a great job of keeping things up, but things could definitely be better and we look forward to see what changes they may put in place," Swartz said.

High Accident Locations by District

District 1:



S. Kingshighway/Chippewa

District 2:


Arsenal/S. Kingshighway


District 3:

S. Grand/Gravois

S. Grand/Chouteau


District 4:

N. Grand/Natural Bridge

N. Grand/Page

N. 4th/Washington

District 5:

Kingshighway (From Barnes Hospital to Delmar)

Kingshighway (From Dr. MLK to St. Louis Ave.)

Page (From Goodfellow to Kingshighway)

District 6:

West Florissant Corridor (between Union & Riverview)

Goodfellow Corridor (between I-70 & West Florissant)

North Broadway & Switzer


I-70 / Goodfellow

I-64 / Kingshighway

I-70 / Union