Parents, educators want lower speeds -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Parents, educators want lower speeds

Dr. Rayfield Dr. Rayfield
Julie Harris Julie Harris
BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - A controversial school zone speed limit has parents and school officials begging for changes to make roadways safer for young drivers.

The Department of Transportation just reduced the speed limit from 55 to 45 miles per hour right outside Bainbridge High School.

These aren't ideal conditions for roads surrounding a school zone. A four lane highway with cars and trucks driving at least 65 mile per hour.

"It's definitely a safety concern for our students who are young drivers. It's also a safety concern for our buses that are in and out of this campus," Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield

Most student drivers have only had their licenses for less than two years. Combine inexperienced drivers with dangerous road conditions, and the result is often accidents like this.

"You can say, 'Be careful, be careful' all day long. And you see how far that can get you," said parent Julie Harris.

But Friday, the DOT responded to several requests to decrease the school zone speed limit from 55 to 45 miles per hour.

"But our concern still remains. Highway 84 is now 65 miles per hour. So now, when they come into our school zone, their is a 20 mile per hour differential," Rayfield said,

Officers tell me they're not just concerned about speed. They say drivers heading east in the morning are blinded by the sun, making driving conditions even more dangerous.

And with only two officers on duty controlling highway traffic, many young drivers have a collective fear of driving to and from school.

"He says it's just part of going to school every day. It's, who's going to have an accident today," said Harris.

The school board plans to discuss a more progressive decrease in speed leading up to the school zone. Changes that many believe could make the roadways safer.

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