New Traffic Signal to be Installed in Front of Bainbridge High School

By: Lanetra Bennett
June 30, 2015

Bainbridge, GA - Georgia transportation officials have seen the light; and drivers on Highway 84 in Decatur County will soon see it, too.

A traffic light will be installed in front of Bainbridge High School.

Bainbridge Mayor Pro Team Don Whaley says, "It really will make a difference in our children's safety."

Local and state officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday to celebrate a new traffic signal being installed in front of Bainbridge High School.

They've been working on it ever since the speed limit went up to 65 miles per hour on Highway 84 just before this past school year.

Whaley says it's too much traffic going too fast. He says, "I have a high school senior that's going to school here now. He drives back and forth every day. Of course, we've been very concerned because there's been some fender benders."

There was a four-car pile-up on the first day of school this previous school year. Authorities say eight students were involved, and three of them had to be treated at the hospital.

Drivers say getting in and out of the school is very dangerous when there's a student population of 1,400 and 170 staff.
Tommie Howell, BHS Principal, says, "That's a lot of traffic and cars coming out here on a major highway. So, safety has always been our number one concern there."

The intersection where the traffic light is going up will become an exit only for the school. The main school entrance will become a enter only.

Workers will start installing the light next week. It will be up and running before the start of the school year.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 30, 2015

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. -- Bainbridge residents are getting a long-awaited traffic light.

Residents have complained about traffic near Bainbridge High School because the speed limit on US-84 is 65 miles per hour.

The area has seen more than 50 crashes since the school opened in 2009.

Today the city will host a ground breaking ceremony for the new light.

The light will be installed outside of the school entrance.

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 11, 2014

Bainbridge, GA - It's not often school officials want to see numbers go down. But, that is the case when it comes to the speed limit in front of Bainbridge High School.

Decatur County school officials don't agree with the speed limit being raised.

"The speeders out there, they all go wild." Says, Dylan Day, a student driver at Bainbridge High.

The school superintendent, Dr. Fred Rayfield, is asking the Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on Highway 84 in front of Bainbridge High School.

It was raised right before this school year to 65 miles per hour, and 55 during school zone hours. Before, it was 55 with a 45 miles per hour school zone limit.

Bradlee Jacobson, a student at BHS, says, "I believe it should go down because there's just too much traffic out here. There's too many cars, too many insane people driving, and there's just too many wrecks and accidents."

There was a four-car pile-up on the first day of school. Authorities say eight students were involved, and three of them had to be treated at the hospital.

A second crash since the speed limit went up, involved three cars and nine people, with one injury.

Dylan says, "When you're leaving, everybody's in a rush to get out. That's why I'm one of the last ones out. I'm not ruining my vehicle for stupidity."

Since the school opened in that location in 2009, authorities say there were 52 accidents under the lower speed limit. The last school year ended with a car crash.

The high school principal says they weren't aware of the speed limit changes until they just happened to notice the new signs.

Bradlee says, "It's just not worth it. It's not worth the car, and it's not worth your life."

Superintendent Rayfield has been meeting with D.O.T. officials in hopes of them soon returning the limit to its original speed.

The crash statistics mentioned are only the accidents that occurred between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 on school days only.

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