High School Drivers and Dangerous Roads: A Recipe for Disaster

Photos from  Google maps

Photos from Google maps

From the small town of Republic, MO comes this story about a dangerous route to school that has resulted in dozens of accidents. The reporter writes:

Republic High School opened in January 2010 on the east side of the city, southeast of the intersection of Republic Road — also known as Highway M — and Missouri ZZ. Both Republic Road and Missouri ZZ are state highways. They meet at a T intersection. The speed limit on those highways is 55 mph and there are turning lanes into the high school.

Teenagers are notoriously bad drivers. So when we combine a dangerously high speed road with new, over-confident drivers trying to get to school, we can hardly be surprised that the set-up has led to multiple accidents, some resulting in serious injury.

On top of being used by teenagers to get to school in the morning, this highway intersection is also a popular one for Republic residents commuting to Springfield. And it’s design makes it even more dangerous than the typical two-lane rural highway. As the article explains:

...much of Republic Road is just two lanes with no shoulder and a section near the high school includes a decline, where motorists can pick up speed, as well as gently sloping hills that can make it more difficult to see oncoming traffic.

In spite of dozens of accidents, as of yet, there have been no fatalities on this stretch, but it seems like only a matter of time, as we have seen over and over again on other dangerously-designed roads. The story continues:

With the frequency of the accidents increasing — three in the past two weeks alone — the school district, city, police and fire departments, and traffic experts from different organizations, including the Missouri Department of Transportation, are working together to find immediate and long-range solutions.

Read the rest of the article here.