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Drivers Beware: New Speed Limits on Sweetwater Road
A Column by the Editor
web posted September 21, 2012
COLUMN – After the speed limit
on Sweetwater Road from 55 mph to 50 mph back in 2005, and still lower
from just south of Randall Road to 45 mph to the intersection of
Highway 25, new signs have been placed lowering it even more of the
road with reduced speeds, and without warning.
It is true that Edgefield County Administrator Lynn Strom announced at
the September County Council meeting that the South Carolina Department
of Transportation (SCDOT) had stated that a review of the roadway was
undertaken and the lower speed limits would be put into place in the
County Councilman Rodney Ashcraft stated that was fine but somebody
needed to inform the drivers.
The new signs are in place, and it
just seems a little suspicious where
the new 45 mph zone is located. It is just after you pass Shaw Estates
southbound and you are already coming down a hill. When the
last change in speed limits went into effect, a warning sign was placed
well in advance to the newly changed limit just north of Briggs Road
(those that went from 55 to
45 - no other warnings were placed in the 55 to 50 areas).
Not so this time.
When the last change went into effect, many State Troopers I spoke with
said it was not to increase the number of tickets written to speeders
and that they allow a 4 to 5 mph leeway before stopping someone from
speeding. That's fair, nobody; even using cruise control on the hilly
and curvy road, could maintain a static 50 mph speed.
However, to place a new speed limit sign dropping the speed from 50 to
45 well down a steep downward slope just seems to be setting up what
could be considered a speed trap. Why put the sign on the down slope to
start with? That's a steep hill; people are looking at oncoming
traffic, not the signs that have been in place since 2005.
I drove that section or road several times today with differing
driving normal, on cruise control, and even placing my vehicle in
neutral. In each case, with no warning, a driver would be subjected to
a 2 point or 4 point violation because they were not forewarned that
the speed limit a quarter of the way down the hill had been
I'm not against the new speed limit in the section of steep hills and
curves, but the least the SCDOT could do is put up a warning sign the
limit is being reduced in advance. I would also suggest that the speed
limit sign be placed at the top of the hill, not on the hill itself.
The real question is will the Highway Patrol actually patrol the road
to curtail the constant complaints of speeding fuel trucks that harass
drivers actually doing the previous speed limits in the section
identified, or the rest of the road for that matter, or just the every
Be warned, once you pass Shaw Estates southbound - get on your brakes -
but not so
fast that the speeding driver behind you may just run up on your bumper
and give you a hand signal saying you are #1.
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Edgefield Daily and/or parent company ECL and
cannot be reproduced,
redistributed without expressed written permission.
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