October 30, 2014
I would like to make a couple of clarifications involving the wreck at Bethel Church Rd. and Hwy. 212 West on Monday morning, 10/27/14. When reading the original email, it would be easily misinterpreted that our office’s response time was inappropriate due to disregarding the wreck in order to work school traffic. I assure you that was not the case.
Deputy Carey was the officer dispatched to the wreck call involving a light utility truck and a Ford Ranger with no injuries on Hwy. 212 West and Bethel Church at 7:42 a.m. Deputy Carey left his post at Hwy. 212 West and the Jasper County Primary School where he was directing traffic in order to respond to the wreck. He arrived on-scene at 7:46 a.m.
We agree that this is one of the most dangerous intersections in the county, and we are working with those involved to implement traffic devices and signage that will make this a safer intersection for our citizens and drivers passing through our county. After speaking with several of the drivers involved in the accidents, it appears that the GPS navigation units are directing users to travel through this unfamiliar intersection. On both of the last two wrecks the drivers came to a complete stop, saw the oncoming traffic and then pulled off thinking it was a four way stop.
My personal opinion is the most effective solution is for the intersection to be a four-way stop. I base my opinion on and reference the intersection at Hwy. 380 and Hwy. 11 South in our county. After numerous serious accidents, this intersection was made a four-way stop. To date, we have not had another accident at this intersection. I also reference Hwy. 87 in Monroe County and it’s intersections at Hwy. 83, Juliette Road and Hwy. 18. Lights, signs and strips were all tried at these intersections prior to making them all four-way stops. While I’m sure that these efforts were somewhat effective and helped, there was still the need that finally lead to make these all four-way stops.
We have currently been actively involved in discussion with the Georgia Department of Transportation concerning the purposed extension of Hwy. 380 from Hwy. 16 East to Hwy. 83 North and Hwy. 380 a four-way stop, nor the Rock Eagle intersection. We have strongly encouraged their reconsideration of these future intersections.
It still remains our primary goal and mission to protect the citizens of Jasper County and provide the highest level of professional service obtainable. I take that responsibility personally and extremely seriously.
Sheriff Donnie Pope
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