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Clay County Residents Concerned About New Speed Limit

Residents in Dean are voicing concern about a new speed limit sign on Highway 79. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has installed a new speed limit sign along a one-mile stretch in Clay County. The sign raises the limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour. Residents who live along this roadway are expressing their concerns about safety. News Channel Six reports that there are 44 homes on this stretch of the highway.

Public Information Officer Adele Lewis with the TxDOT responded to the residents’ concerns. She remarked that this new sign is in full compliance with the law. In September of 2011, the 82nd Texas Legislature passed a law allowing TxDot to change speed limits on any state highway if it is found to be reasonable and safe by an engineering study. The results of the speed study showed that this particular stretch of Highway 79 is safe for the new speed limit. She stated that their study considers factors like highway intersections, businesses, number of driveways, homes, schools and fatalities.

Phillips plans to continue pushing for more roadway awareness in this area. TxDot is also reminding drivers to drive safely by observing roadway conditions, buckling their safety belts and putting down their cell phones. Fatal crashes are not uncommon with collisions involving such high speeds. It’s important for motorists to recognize that there are driveways and residential homes along the highway. With so many homes in the area, families and children are likely to be in the vicinity. A distracted driver may not be paying attention to a resident turning in to his or her driveway.

Last fall, we reported on the devastating news that it had been 12 years since Texas roadways had gone a single day without at least one traffic-related fatality. The TxDOT in conjunction with local and state law enforcement agencies have been actively working to make Texas roadways safer. Citizens are encouraged to drive safely, avoid distractions and buckle their seatbelts.

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