Drive safely on Highway 56

Mike Padgett Highway, Georgia Highway 56, Old Savannah Road – no matter what you call that road, speed kills.

I grew up on the Richmond-Burke county line on Highway 56, and there have been many improvements over the years. Increased lanes, caution lights, red lights and turn lanes are some of the improvements. I have seen accidents involving everything from log trucks to horses. Some are avoidable and some are not.

If you travel Highway 56, you will learn quickly that the average speed most people drive is 65 mph. Excessive speed mixed with several 40,000-pound trucks that feed our industries on the south side, is not a recommended combo. Respect the trucks; give them room.

A 40,000-pound truck weighs approximately the same as, say, 15 cars. How much room will you need to stop your car if it weighed 15 times what it does now? I am not saying the drivers of these trucks are exempt from the traffic laws by any means, but you must watch them and give them room. When you pass, allow plenty of room for the driver to stop.

I started driving Highway 56 when I was 16, and shared the road with pulpwood trucks. If you remember these vehicles, they were in a class all to themselves, and held together with the drivers’ will to earn a living.

Back to my point: Slow down and look out for your fellow drivers. Change what you can now, no matter how small, and you will be amazed by the outcome.

Remind your friends and family to buckle up, watch the other drivers and slow down. It’s not the road that is unsafe. It’s the drivers.

 

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