Parents: Speed Limit Too High

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

It's the stretch of Jolly Road right in front of Okemos High School that Jody Wesley worries about her daughter traveling every day.

"You've got kids who are 16,17, 18 years old driving, you've got a 55 mile per hour speed limit, it's just not a good combo," she explains.

And that's a thought that has been on Wesley's mind for a while, but has become a lot more intense after her daughter's classmate, Adam Nevells was hit by another car while pulling out of the school's parking lot. The crash killed the 17 year-old.

"I was kind of spurred into action from the accident a couple of weeks ago," Wesley says.

And she's not alone. Multiple parents along with the OHS PTO have expressed concern.

All Wesley and that group of Okemos parents want is for drivers to slow down, and she says the only way to make that happen is by erecting a school zone sign outside of Okemos High.

That's something though that Bill Conklin of the Ingham Co. Road Commission says is up to the school system.

"The school district may not be aware that they can request a school speed zone. Certainly if they're not aware, we'll make them aware," Conklin says.

And as far as maybe reducing the speed to something other than 25 mph, Conklin began a study into that a few weeks ago by installing speed strips across Jolly Rd. to measure the speed of a typical driver.

"If 85% of them go 40 mph or below, because it's a little bit more of a constricted environment, then that would be the appropriate speed limit," he says.

Not much of an acceptable answer for Wesley.

"You don't realize all of the near misses and minor accidents," she says.

Should Speed Limits Be Reevaluated After Deadly Accidents?

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  • by Tommy Location: S on Oct 1, 2009 at 06:48 AM
    Here's a truely ridiculous one: How about 55mph in front of an ELEMENTARY school? Aleidon Elementary on Okemos Rd (Mason school district) sits on a stretch of Okemos road this is a ***55MPH*** limit!! This is absolutely ridiculous!
  • by Rodney on Sep 27, 2009 at 07:56 PM
    Kids don't need to drive to school. The school offers bus transit, so that should be the only means of transportation for the kids to and from school. The kids would be less apt to skip school without use of a car too. Now you have kids driving and using cell phones at the same time. They haven't gained enough experience driving, now they're texting on the phone, with the distraction of all their buddies in the back seat. Not a good combination. Make it illegal for kids to drive while in high school. They can wait to drive when they go to college.
  • by Kim on Sep 26, 2009 at 10:03 AM
    Keep the kids out of the road. That might be the safe thing to do.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 26, 2009 at 05:44 AM
    Most schools that are located on highways have stop lights and turn off lanes around the school. Other schools have reduced speed limits during school hours.
  • by ME Location: Lansing on Sep 25, 2009 at 08:20 AM
    Seriously, who the heck allowed a 55 mph speed limit in front of a school?
  • by kelly on Sep 25, 2009 at 06:27 AM
    Another thing that should be law NO TEXTING OR TALKING ON CELL WHILE DRIVING!!!! That would help alot.
  • by Darlene Location: Lansing on Sep 25, 2009 at 05:25 AM
    Truly,the recent death of a student is a tragedy. But the reality here is that it is not the speed limit that would or could prevent future accidents. It is the inexperienced 16 and 17 year old drivers in high powered expensive cars that do not have the experience to maneuver safely in a high traffic situation. They make poor decisions and put others at risk. If safety is the concern, there are several buses traveling to the school, virtually empty, every day. Okemos could save their residents thousands of dollars by only having one bus as most of the students either drive or are driven to school. It’s literally taking your life in your own hands to try and drive past in the outside lane during this time of day, much less try to turn left onto Huelette with the steady stream of traffic that RUNS the red light in order to get to class on time. Again, the problem is NOT the speed limit. Perhaps the school should limit parking passes to seniors? The light on Huelette is traffic activated.
  • by JB Location: Jackson on Sep 24, 2009 at 08:09 PM
    It does nto matter if it was a bad driving call or not, speed limits around a school should be 25 no matter what.
  • by LAL on Sep 24, 2009 at 07:45 PM
    Regardless if it was a bad driving call the speed limit on Jolly in front of OHS needs to be lowered. The speed limit on Hulett road needs to be lowered to 35 mph. A light on the corner of Jolly and Hulett should have a left arrow option because these children are too inexperienced to judge turning left on to Hulett with the busy traffic of Jolly. There should be a light installed at the teacher parking lot in front of Jolly rd.
  • by MSUGRAD Location: EL on Sep 24, 2009 at 07:26 PM
    I drive by there on my way to I96, and that light by the school always turns too quickly for the posted speed limit. it should be 45 there like it is by okemos rd and over past hagadorn.
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