Dangerous driving in Indian SpringsPublished 1:48pm Monday, October 15, 2012
By DALE BRAKHAGE / Community Columnist
SCREEEEEECH! Sounds of cars skidding to a stop are happening more often. When you hear it, you instinctively brace yourself to hear another sound: CRASH!
Those accidents and near misses have several causes. Have you experienced one of these situations lately?
Congestion. One cause of the accidents is simply more cars on our roads. Indian Springs is a crossroads. At its heart, two of Shelby County’s busiest thoroughfares, Alabama 119 and Valleydale Road, connect via Caldwell Mill Road. Thousands of cars travel these roads every day. When the schools start and end, the roads just clog up. All anyone can do is be patient and drive more defensively.
Impatient drivers are another cause of traffic problems in Indian Springs. At the major traffic light intersections on Caldwell Mill Road: Valleydale Road and Alabama 119, impatient drivers cause accidents by accelerating through yellow lights, running red lights and turning right on red without stopping first.
State law requires drivers to come to a complete stop before turning right on red. Many drivers completely disregard this rule as they speed west off Caldwell Mill Road onto Alabama 119. That poses a real safely hazard to ISV residents who live in the 60-plus homes down McGuire Road. They constantly dodge those impatient drivers as they enter Alabama 119.
Further north near the Winn Dixie Shopping Center, a new type of impatient driving is causing traffic problems. Call it the “Turn Lane Tango.”
Bailey Lane is the cut-through from Jefferson State to Caldwell Mill Road. Some drivers from Bailey Lane going south onto Caldwell Mill Road do not wait for oncoming traffic to clear. They dart between oncoming cars to stop in the middle turn lane. Once in the turn lane, they wait for a spot to merge south onto Caldwell Mill Road.
Half a block away and at the same time, other drivers from Caldwell Trace are zipping into the same turn lane from the opposite side and direction! Drivers on Caldwell Mill Road can only slam on their brakes to miss these impatient drivers. There goes that screeching noise again.
Dale Brakhage writes a weekly column about Indian Springs and its residents. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.