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Slow it down, folks

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007, at 8:42 AM

If you've been reading my columns for any amount of time, you'll know that one of my big pet peeves are thoughtless and reckless drivers, which we seem to have plenty of around here.

This morning, on my way to Shelbyville from Tullahoma, a motorist who was obviously late for her classes at Motlow, nearly put me in a ditch on Highway 130 by flying down the road and crossing over into my lane at high speed.

I'm going to have to change my route again, I imagine.

But I already try to stay off Highway 41A because of all the twisted maniacs out there. On Tuesday evening as I left the Bell Buckle meeting, a dense fog began to rise in parts of the unlit rural areas of the route home.

So, of course, this means it was a perfect time for someone to tailgate me at top speed with their high beams on all the way into Tullahoma.

In this morning's edition of the T-G, you will read about the safety issues that parents are having in Bell Buckle at Webb School. From the article:

A specially requested speed study conducted by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) over two days in January revealed that 76.9 percent of the traffic moving through the campus exceeded the 15 mph speed limit.

Out of 1,459 vehicles counted by TDOT, one was observed going between 76-80 mph, one between 66-70, one between 56-60, four vehicles between 51-55 and six between 46-50 mph.

This is a 15 mph zone all the time. Everyone who lives here knows this.

So what's the problem, folks? Why do some insist on putting everyone's lives in danger so they can be a few minutes early to wherever they are going?

What's the problem?

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speed bumps... serious ones. works everytime.

-- Posted by chillint on Fri, Oct 26, 2007, at 11:47 AM

I would think, with the tuition paid at Webb, they could build the fences and crossover, or at least the fences so they have to walk across in limited places.

My question is, "Why are schools built on Highways?" I have to put my 5 speed in neutral and coast and still have trouble getting below 20.

If it's not during regular school arrival/dismissal times, I can see why drivers get frustrated and at Webb, they do cross frequently and not only at the school, but while walking to/from downtown.

-- Posted by stardust on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 4:16 PM

Also, have you guys noticed how fast cars are flying down the subdivision streets? It's gotten so bad, that I'm leary about walking my dogs and someone flying around a corner or over a hill and taking me out.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Fri, Oct 12, 2007, at 7:42 AM

If the campus were adequately fenced (this could be a totally appropriate fence that would not be in the least unattractive) and the cross-over were the only easy way across the street, it would be the method of choice for crossing. You are right, the school knows it is precariously situated on two sides of a thoroughfare and they do have a responsibility to the safety of their students. The "right" incident with the "right" child is all it will take to amend the situation. However, before any sad event occurs is the time for action. Since the school is dealing with children, it would be in their best interest to rectify this long-standing problem before it creates another tragedy.

-- Posted by dmcg on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 8:43 PM

Has anyone noticed that people seem to think there isn't a speed limit on Madison St? Good Grief, they pass by going 70+ MPH. and they also don't seem to notice most of the red lights.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 7:36 PM

I drove through Bell Buckle Saturday, it was a beautiful, lazy afternoon. As I passed through the Webb School campus I was wondering why there was not a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the road to accommodate the foot/bicycle traffic. One could be designed to blend in to the charm of the historic campus and at the same time make a much safer atmosphere for adolescents and adults as well.

If the campus were cordoned off from the road with a fittingly designed fence, a crossing area with a traffic light could also easily accommodate foot traffic. The light could be activated by a button pressed by pedestrians. Thereby not stopping through traffic unless there were pedestrians in the crossing.

There is also the option of cameras mounted to record the speed of every vehicle passing through the campus. These sophisticated mechanisms are able to not only record the speed, but also to photograph the license plate of every offender. Tickets for violations are issued through the mail. The only sure way to stop habitual speeders is through their pocketbooks. Hefty fines are only the beginning, insurance premiums can skyrocket after even the first violation. The good thing about the camera system is that it is non-discriminatory. If you speed, you are ticketed.

-- Posted by dmcg on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 1:57 PM

Im not saying you are wrong about speeding drivers, but you make it seem like everyone hasnt done it beore.And to tell you the truth,I think they should raise the speed limit in some places in Bedford County.I will give you an example.On North Main,in Shelbyville,People dont drive 30mph,They drive at least 40 to 45mph and the police will drive by and not pull anyone over.So, I think its Hypocritical to say that you want other people to slow down and when we all drive faster because we all are in a hurry now days.Impo

-- Posted by mayberry on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 11:02 AM

Another thing that annoys me is the fact that so many people here in Bedford County don't use their turn signals. They come standard on every vehicle and definitely need to be used at all times!

This morning coming to work, this guy tried to pull in front of me even though I was behind another guy and there wasn't enough room for that but he never gave me a signal that he wanted in that lane and just pulled in front and caused me to slam on my brakes. Of course, this same idiot then wound up being behind me and another driver on Unionville Highway and decided he would pass on double yellow lines in front of the Fairlane Subdivision with oncoming traffic which almost presented another hazard but I slowed down so he could pass(of course, I blinked my lights at him because I was not happy).

Sometimes I wonder where these people learn to drive.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 10:20 AM

If ya wanna have fun watching tailgaters back off... flick on your parking lights. At first instinct, the tail lights look like brake lights. Of course, this will only work in daytime hours when your headlights aren't in actual use.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 9:57 AM

Here's an idea...if they don't want to be late to where ever it is they are going, maybe they should have left earlier. That's usually what people get told when they stay too close to my back bumper. Well that and "I'm sorry, did you lose something in my trunk?". Of course they don't hear me say this, it just helps me.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 9:09 AM

Tamera, that has GOT to be the best idea I have ever heard of for dealing with other drivers when they're being idiots! I love that. Now I have got to get a stack of those things from the DMV. It beats the daylights out of waving at them using fewer than all five fingers and tells them EXACTLY what you think of their driving skills.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 9:04 AM

Brian, some people just don't respond to the argument that they're putting other lives in danger by speeding and driving recklessly. They may better respond to money. Is it really worth the several hundred dollars that a ticket, insurance rates, and repairs could cost if you were ticketed or wrecked while trying to save 5 minutes? I used to be that way too. I still speed when I'm on 24 or 840, I even go a little over when I drive on these back roads. Once I get into Bell Buckle or Wartrace, I stick to the letter of the law on speed because I know that there are kids, dogs, cats, squirrels, and the occasional goat herd (actually happened once in Bell Buckle) straying into the road. I don't necessarily agree with the 24 hour 15 MPH "school zone" at Webb, but I stick to it. I did notice last night as I was driving through there, that there was an unmanned Bedford County Sheriff's car sitting there in an attempt to get people to slow down.

-- Posted by Thom on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 9:00 AM

It is a bad problem.

I got a HUGE problem with parents dropping their kids off at Thomas Elementry School in Shelbyville. Many people pull to the left side of the road so their kids do not have to cross the street to get on school grounds.

When I took my driving test I was tested on which side of the road is proper for loading and unloading vehicles correctly.

If people would just learn to go down the road headed east there would be no problem.

Today was the worse when I had a lady yell at me, for obeying the laws of the road. So I kindly got out and handed her a drivers manuel offered free of charge from the DMV. I then wished her a wonderful day.

Speeding and unsafe loading/unloading in school zones are the worst and I truely think something needs to be done about it.

So if anyone has any suggestions on who I can contact about these issues please let me know as I will gladly do my part to get a change.

Thank you for posting about a huge concern that gets worse every year.

-- Posted by tamerajesch on Thu, Oct 11, 2007, at 8:56 AM

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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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