Dumb and Dangerous Driving - June 22, 2006

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker
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It's back by popular demand.

We're out catching Dumb and Dangerous Driving in our area.

At a neighborhood off Two Notch Road in Aiken, speeders are a big problem.

Drivers use this neighborhood road as a shortcut to avoid busy areas. About a year ago a four way stop came in to slow things down a little bit. But a viewer tells us the problem never quite went away. We parked off to the side and clocked people driving through the neighborhood.

The average speed was about ten miles over what it should have been. We tracked a few of them down...most were just cutting through the neighborhood, and said they did not realize the posted speed is 30 miles an hour. This worries a lot of the parents we talked to today.

So are the stop signs working? In the several hours we were out here, very few came to a complete stop...and the ones that rolled through tended to go over the posted speed.

We stopped some of those drivers to have a talk about traffic laws. One of them happened to be a drivers ed teacher!

"I rolled when I turned right," he told us. "That's illegal. A lot of people do that...and it's not good!"

"You were going about 10 miles over," we informed another driver. "Did you realize you were doing that?"

"No."

That driver went on to say she thought the speed limit through the neighborhood is 35. Most residential zones are actually 25 or 30.

We found many drivers go about ten over that.

We parked off to the side for several hours and clocked their speed with our radar gun.

Deputies say the speeding problem caused a fatal accident a little over a year ago, so they put in a four way stop to slow it down.

A News 12 viewer tells us the stop signs never quite solved the problem. So we tracked a few drivers down and asked them if the stop signs helped.

"If you follow the law which says stop, it's going to help," said one Aiken driver. "Of course, if you don't follow the law it's not going to help."

We found many of the cars that roll the signs also averaged about ten miles over the speed limit.

"How fast do cars usually go out here?" we asked one driver.

"About 45 or 50," she said.

Our radar showed one red truck going 41 miles per hour.

"Were you aware it was 30 mph back there? "

"No ma'am."

The gun also showed a car going 42.

"Did you know you were doing that?"

"Um, yeah, I guess."

Both of these drivers seemed to be cutting through. But the question remains...are the roads safer since the stop signs came in?

"If they didn't have them, we'd have a lot of wrecks out here," one driver said.

Preventing wrecks means following the rules. The drivers ed teacher we spoke with doesn't want his students following the example he set today.

"It's got to be a complete stop," he says.

"So was that a complete stop back there?" we asked him.

"No, no, no. That was a turn right on red which is illegal. It's just like a red light, you have to come to a complete stop."

He told us what he should have done: "Come to a full stop, check with your head and make a turn."

He says this is what his students and every driver should do every time, to make the roads a better place to drive.

We'll see Dumb and Dangerous Driving every Thursday on News 12 at 5, 6, and 11.

If you see any dumb and dangerous driving, email stephanie.baker@wrdw.com.


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