Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation will be looking at an intersection at Hart County which was the scene of a fatal car accident last month. An 81-year-old man was struck and killed as he was trying to cross the SR77 from the Lavonia connector in his vehicle. The intersection since then has been the focus of much scrutiny.
After the crash, State Rep Allen Powell requested the Department of Transportation to take a look at the intersection, and see how what kind of road safety enhancements can be made. DOT officials have confirmed that they will be looking at a number of factors, including the daily traffic at the intersection, the spots that see the maximum number of vehicles, and the accident history of the intersection over the past year. They will also look specifically into the fatal accident, including the cause as well as the type of the crash. DOT representatives will also be looking at traffic counts, but that will be done after summer has been ended, because traffic counts are typically lower during the summer.
That means that whatever the DOT decides, and any recommendations it makes, will only come after fall. Even then, it may be weeks and months before any steps are taken to enhance the safety of the intersection.
As we often see in cases where a design defect on a road has been responsible for accidents, there are a series of steps that have to be completed before installation of any safety devices. Even installation of traffic signals can take months of bureaucratic wrangles, while all concerned agencies are brought on board. Besides, even when everybody has agreed that the dangerous spot needs to have some enhancements, funding shortages may place the plans on a backburner. DOT officials tend to have a priority list for undertaking such safety measures. A spot that doesn’t find itself on the list may not be eligible for enhancements, no matter how much residents and motorists in the area find it dangerous.