WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The City of Wilmington is starting a new traffic management program to address speeding in residential neighborhoods.
The city is currently targeting traffic in the Long Leaf Hills neighborhood after a radar study found that a little over 60 percent of drivers were speeding. To get people to slow down, several temporary ‘speed minders' have been placed along Long Leaf Hills Drive to make drivers aware of how fast they are going in the neighborhood.
The city will then place a second radar speed study to see if there are any improvements.
On Friday, our cameras spotted drivers going anywhere from 1 to 12 miles over the speed limit on Long Leaf Hills Drive.
"They just fly through here," said Andrew Solcumb. "They are being careless, not paying attention, it's all day, every day."
Neighbors say it's not new, cars have sped down Long Leaf Hills Drive for years.
"It's frustrating, it's like a race track especially from the stop sign to Pine Grove," explained Denna Graham. She says it's dangerous for those walking or biking around and especially for those who have to cross the street every time they want to check the mail.
Back in February, the Wilmington Police Department conducted an operation in the neighborhood. In a 5 day period, they said they ticketed 97 drivers for going at least 10 miles over the speed limit.
"Thirty-five and over is just way to fast for that road," said Sgt. Mike Donelson who helped with the operation.
While 10 miles might not sound like a lot, he said it could mean the difference between life and death especially if you are talking about a crash involving a pedestrian.
"There are a lot of variables of course, but under 30mph you have a good possibility of not dying in a crash, 30mph and over, there is a very strong chance it will be a fatal wreck," said Sgt. Donelson.
He also said the faster you are going, the harder it is to stop quickly if a person or car cuts in front of you.
Graham says only some of the drivers are paying attention to the speed minders. "You'll see them slow down, but then they speed up when they pass." She said she hopes something more is done to get drivers to slow down.
City officials said they will use radar to conduct another study on the street in a few weeks, then if drivers are still speeding, they will look to see what other options they have to get people to slow down.
It isn't just Long Leaf Hills, city officials are also looking to see what other neighborhoods have a speeding problem and are working to take similar action.
To learn more about this program, visit the City of Wilmington's website: http://bit.ly/1my4kDj.
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