Dangerous Interstate or Dangerous Drivers?

By: Renee' LaSalle
By: Renee' LaSalle

A stretch of Interstate 20 in Lauderdale County, in the eastbound lanes, between the Lost Gap exit and the city limits, is no stranger to accidents.

On Wednesday, four vehicles were involved in two separate accidents in just a matter of moments.

In this case two people were taken to the hospital. Investigators say wet roads played a role in the crash, but what is the reason for these accidents?

Capt. Billy Mayes, commander of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop H, says it's not a defect in design, but drivers going too fast.

"Drivers are exceeding the speed limit, coming through there, coming down the hill and also speed too fast for road conditions," said Mayes.

Last year there were 17 accidents on this particular stretch of the interstate. This year, in just two months, there have already been four. Capt. Mayes says it has been years since there was a fatality in that area, but drivers have to start paying attention and obeying the law.

"We have six troopers that are assigned to this county ," said Mayes. "More manpower would help, but I just think drivers need to start paying more attention to their driving habits."

The Mississippi Department of Transportation also weighed in on the issue. Agency representatives say they're doing everything they can to keep your roads safe.

"Our budget is in the range of $800 million a year and all those dollars are spent with safety in mind, whether it's done to provide a new highway or whether it's done to rehabilitate or reconstruct an existing highway. It's all done with driver safety in mind," said Ken Wallace of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

The agency says this stretch of highway does meet safety standards and there are no immediate plans for reconstruction.


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