Board of Education fights Highway 84 speed limit increase by high school

Published 11:28 pm Friday, August 22, 2014

The Decatur County Board of Education is working to reduce the speed limit on Highway 84 near Bainbridge High School.

The limit on Highway 84 between Bainbridge and Thomasville was raised from 55 to 65 this summer by the Georgia Department of Transportation after a study in May.

The BOE recently invited DOT engineers to spend the morning at BHS and examine the traffic.

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“The engineers were very receptive to our situation,” said Dr. Fred Rayfield, Decatur County Department of Education Superintendent, “and indicated that it was a statewide movement to increase as many state highways from 55 to 65. When they did that in Atlanta, they didn’t necessarily go look to see if there might be a school zone in the middle of one of those areas.”

Rayfield said that the engineers were told that they cannot decrease the limit by more than 10 miles per hour, but Georgia Code 40-6-183 states that school zones are an exception to that.

According to O.C.G.A. 40-6-183, “The difference between adjacent limits shall not be more than 10 miles per hour, except for reductions for school speed zones, which may be not more than 20 miles per hour when a warning sign is placed 700 feet in advance of the point at which the speed reduction is required.”

Anything that the BOE requests will have to be reviewed by the Atlanta office, which is the primary barrier for any foreseeable changes, Rayfield said.