TOPEKA (KSNT) – Cops will increase their patrols on a portion of Highway 24 starting any day, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

The highway between St. Marys and Manhattan is one of four sections of highway across the state to get the expanded patrols over the next five years.

The state selected this section of Highway 24 – which goes through Wamego – because of a high prevalence of dangerous crashes. The state said 8 people died and 20 had serious injuries from crashes between 2016 and 2021. There were 174 crashes in the corridor.

“Common characteristics in these high injury crashes included speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, driving impaired, or distracted driving,” the state said.

The state is looking to eliminate traffic deaths by targeting high crash areas with extra patrols, education and safety improvements.

Other locations impacted by the initiative:

  • I-135: Sedgwick and Harvey counties, from 53rd Street in Park City to Exit 34 in North Newton.
  • Highway 83/50: Finney County, from Plymell north through Garden City and west to the Holcomb exit.
  • Highway  69: Crawford County, from the U.S. 400 junction north through Frontenac and Pittsburg to the U.S. 160 junction.