LUMBERTON — The state Department of Transportation will request money to install a four-way stop sign at an intersection known for high-speed accidents.
The request is a result of a petition by Fire Chief Josh Windom of Northwoods Fire and Rescue Department. Windom had asked for a stoplight at the intersection of Meadow and Linkhaw roads near Lumberton High School.
“I’m almost certain a light there will prevent .. lives from being taken and definitely reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities also,” Windom said.
Frank D. West, a division traffic engineer with DOT, said the department has agreed to seek money to install a four-way stop sign. Right now there are stop signs on Linkhaw Road.
Windom said the petition, which garnered 92 signatures, had the support from Lumberton Emergency Medical Services, Lumberton Police Department, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and the state Highway Patrol.
“We get tired of seeing unnecessary injuries and vehicle damage that could be avoided,” he said.
According to Windom, the intersection is accident prone.
“It’s normally a head-on collisions or T-bone style accidents where a car will run a stop sign,” he said.
David Phipps, a regional traffic engineer with DOT, conducted a safety investigation of the intersection over the last three years.
“From May 2010 to April 2013, there were nine crashes at that intersection,” Phipps said. “That included all types of accidents, so anything that was reported at that intersection.”
According to Phipps, there were injuries in five of the accidents, but no fatalities.
Phipps said traffic wasn’t high enough to warrant a stoplight.
“The all-way stop will have a better safety impact … , ” he said.
Windom was hoping for a safety measure to be put in place before the start of the school year, which is Monday.
“Traffic gets heavy there … with inexperienced drivers using that road and intersection,” he said.
Phipps said it would be months before the additional stop signs are installed.
“If it gets funded, we would get something done before the end of the calendar year,” he said.
Jane Hedgpeth, a Lumberton resident, posted a comment on the petition’s website requesting a stoplight.
“I travel Meadow Road a lot,” Hedgpeth said. “I have almost been hit many times in the past three years from people running the stop sign or pulling out in front of me.”