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There’s a quick solution to dangerous roads

To truly fix any problem, it is important first to understand the problem; get to the root of the problem, it is often said.

Monday, the Warren County Board of Supervisors will be presented a plan that would have engineers conduct a traffic safety study of Gibson Road, a road that has been the site of far too many crashes, injuries and, sadly, fatalities.

But while the intent to conducting a safety traffic plan, there may be a root cause, a core problem that a study will not find, but is one that everyone knows.

In a recent article in The Post, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said there is nothing wrong with the design and construction of Gibson Road, nor is there a problem with obstructions or issues with sightlines. The problem, Pace said, is speed, simply speed.

As with every other county in Mississippi, enforcement of speed limits along roads outside of city limits lies with state troopers. Deputies with sheriff’s offices throughout the state, as State Rep. Oscar Denton said in the same article, are “powerless” to enforce speed limits, a fact he has worked to change.

Denton said he has attempted to pass legislation that would give sheriff’s offices across the state to enforce speed limits on county roads but has been unsuccessful thus far. But for Denton, the issue with speed on Gibson Road is personal. He lives on Gibson Road, which is why he said next year he will try again to pass what we can all agree is common-sense legislation.

This time, though, Denton is going to try something different. Instead of trying to push through legislation that would be statewide, he said his next proposal would give counties the choice as to whether they would want their sheriff’s office to have the power to enforce speed limits.

We would hope that when Denton proposes such legislation next year that our local lawmakers would support such a measure.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors has the ability to set speed limits and change speed limits, it would only make sense that the main law enforcement agency in the county would have the ability to enforce such limits. If not, then the signs should be changed to “speed suggestions.”

We are sure there would be items that would need to be addressed in any traffic safety study, but before stepping out on any structural and material changes to the road, let us first look at the root cause, the real reason why Gibson Road and other county roads have become so dangerous.

Listen to those who know. It’s speed.

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