The matter of what constitutes a safe speed on twisting rural roads is worrisome to some northwest citizens.
Scalesville Road, which leads from Summerfield into Rockingham County, was the site of two single-vehicle accidents within the past two weeks. Neither accident involved a speed higher than the posted speed limit of 55 mph.
At 11:20 p.m. on June 30, Chase Banks Loye, 18, of Greensboro, was traveling northeast on Scalesville Road near Hillsdale Road when he lost control of a 2006 Hyundai and struck a pole. The vehicle overturned and came to a stop on the right shoulder. Loye fled the scene and was charged with reckless driving and failure to report.
The next day at 7:30 p.m., Jade Melin Loring, 19, also of Greensboro, lost control of a 2000 Toyota while traveling northeast on Scalesville Road near Carter Farm Road. Much like the June 30 accident, Loring’s vehicle struck a pole and overturned before coming to rest on the left shoulder. She was ejected from the vehicle and airlifted to Baptist Hospital, where she is recovering. Loring was not charged.
In both cases, Trooper C.D. Knox says the drivers were traveling at about 55 mph when they lost control of their respective vehicles.
Bob Dixon, who lives near Carter Farm Road, believes 55 mph is just too fast for that part of Scalesville Road.
“The road is narrow and the speed is unbelievable at times,” Dixon says, adding that the road has become more traveled in recent years, which means more lead-footed drivers are coming and going on a daily basis.
“When we moved here 26 years ago you didn’t see a car very often,” Dixon said. “With the development in Oak Ridge, Summerfield, Kernersville, Reidsville and Eden, it’s become a fly through. This road has quite a few blind spots, and you’ve got school buses that run this road. When the buses stop and people come around a turn, they’ll be on top of the bus before they know it.”
Plus, he said it’s not uncommon for folks to pass other vehicles illegally.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been on this road at 50 (mph) and how many people were riding my tail,” Dixon said. “I’ve seen people pass in double lanes or blind spots.”
Dixon is advocating that the speed limit be reduced to 45 mph from Witty Road to the Rockingham county line. A number of residents on the road agree, and feel an increase in police presence would also pay dividends.
“There are a lot of older drivers through this area as well as several young and not experienced drivers. You also have to think about deer from time to time (that are) close to the roads,” say Scalesville Road residents Ken and Kathy Cocklereece. “We think it would help a great deal if the speed was reduced at least from Cummings Dairy Road to the Rockingham County line. We also feel the presence of state troopers once in a while through the area would help slow some speeders down.”
Dixon has contacted the N.C. Highway Patrol and the Town of Summerfield (even though the stretch of road is outside the town limits).
“We would like to see if they would be willing to come out and reevaluate this,” Dixon said. “I’ve never seen anybody pulled over for speeding on this road. I told the highway patrol if they put a speed trap here, they would catch a year’s worth of speeders.”