Big Ridge residents want crack down on speed - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Big Ridge residents want crack down on speed

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Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

Chattanooga, TN (WRCB) - If you've ever traveled Fairview Road on Big Ridge you know that the speed limit is there for a reason. Long time residents, like Shirley Swanson, have seen over and over again what happens when those speed limits aren't followed.

"The truck turned around and around, we went to the other side of the road, we were just hanging there on a bank, we were very fortunate."

Fortunate that Shirley and her husband weren't killed 300 yards from home by a driver estimated at 70 mph who lost control.

Day after day Shirley says she's scared for her life while working on her plants in the front yard.

She said she doesn't feel safe out there, "No, no, no way, in fact my husband always says don't get out there, stay in some."

Just last year, her stone mailbox was taken out by a driver heading the opposite direction. Less than a mile away, teen siblings Tori and Timothy Katafais were killed last week.

Channel 3 obtained the number of accidents on Fairview Road since 2009, showing less than 15. Hamilton County Captain Charles Lowery says that's not an abnormal number of accidents.

"As far as fatalities are concerned we do know that the majority of them were non-injury crashes, there was some property damage and some serious crashes also," said Lowery.

He also says speed is a choice, and no matter what road you travel speeding will lead to danger.

The flowers on the side of Fairview road are a bone chilling reminder. Lowery said no one should have to deal with death at such a young age.

"I'm a grandpa, I feel the same sorrow, the same hurt that the families do when I have to go notify them that your child is not coming home anymore," said Lowery.

The City Traffic Engineering Department said they are in the approval stages of putting a mobile radar unit off the road to tell you how fast you're going. They're also trying to fit speed cameras in the budget, but no construction is in the near future.

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