Dumb and Dangerous Driving - February 1, 2007

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Double the speed limit means double the fear for parents in one Columbia County neighborhood.

That's why they're fighting to stop subdivision speeders.

State law actually prevents deputies from running radar in most neighborhoods. That's why people in Ivy Falls are getting together and asking the local government for help.

We went to check out the speeding for ourselves and caught one driver zipping through at 49 in a 25. That's almost twice the limit through a place with lots of families.

"There's no regard for children in the neighborhood," said Jessica Higgenbottom. "Children are playing in the front yard and people will speed by."

This speedy situation has parents like Jessica Higgenbottom asking for speed bumps to slow drivers.

Speeding is easy, since many drive straight through the neighborhood's only traffic control system...the stop signs. Other than the signs, the rest is wide open road, which means there's not a lot else to slow traffic.

Jason Wood and his neighbors asked Columbia County to check out the problem. Traffic engineers watched almost a thousand drivers over two days, and found the average speed is 13 over.

If enough people sign a petition, the county will put in speed bumps.

Deputies say that's a very effective solution to this problem.

"If somebody wants to challenge the speed bumps, it will damage their car," Deputy Keith Warner said. "If we're not there, they're there to help us."

"I'm worried about the kids, my children, children in the neighborhood, I'm worried about people walking down the street...and with cars at that rate of speed, it's dangerous for everyone," Jessica said.

Neighbors are still trying to get signatures for the petition. In the meantime, deputies are keeping a close watch on the area. Even though they can't run radar, they can still write you up for reckless driving and driving too fast for conditions.

If you want speed bumps in your neighborhood, tell the county.

If they find there is a problem, you'll get what you need by submitting a petition with neighbors' signatures, just like these folks are doing.

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