COLUMBIA, Ill. - Fast driving and Route 3 seem to be one in the same for some Illinois drivers. Day and night, drivers speed along the Columbia, Illinois stretch of the road.
“The speed limit is 45, but everybody drives 60,” driver Grant Lavally said.
Lavally drives Route 3 every day. He said he’s bound to see some type of crash.
“I actually saw a truck drive off the road today because he didn’t see the brake lights in front of him,” Lavally said.
Speed limit signs are posted along the stretch of road, but no one seems to be paying attention.
Emily Webb, 41, lost her life in February after a grain truck struck her SUV. All six of her children were inside the vehicle; two went to the hospital with critical injuries, but they all survived.
Just months following that tragedy, Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson and Police Chief Jerald Paul announced safety enhancements were planned along the road.
Illinois Department of Transportation and local police are working in concert on that project.
“We’re looking at additional stripping along the side of the corridor,” Paul said. “We’re looking at rumble strips when you enter into our corridor that alerts the driver.”
The city also hired an additional officer whose sole responsibility is to enforce safety along the Route 3.
Chief Paul said it’s going to take some cooperation from drivers as well.
“We prefer voluntary compliance from the motorist, but if we have to do it through enforcement then we will because we got to make the corridor safer,” Paul said.