Originally created 02/23/01

Four-way stop a start



It's agonizing when it takes a tragedy to get something done which should have been done long before. Just ask residents of the Pumpkin Center neighborhood in Columbia County.

They have known for years how dangerous the intersection of Highway 221 and Wrightsboro Road is, but it wasn't until 16-year-old Melissa Dawn Swett was killed in a three-car accident there last Dec. 12 that authorities finally took notice.

And thanks to a petition drive by Melissa's loved ones, friends and others in the community, the state Department of Transportation actually did something - putting in flashers and a four-way stop.

Even though petitioners sought a traffic light, this is still a major safety improvement that should prevent accidents and save lives.

The main cause of the intersection accidents, say residents, are Highway 221 speeders who don't slow down. They'll certainly have to now. And, hopefully, a police crackdown will ensure they do.

There's still a chance a stoplight will be installed. A DOT spokesman says the agency will reevaluate the stoplight request after 12 months.