The People's Tribune

Commissioners Approve Reduction To Speed Limit On County Roads

Pike County Commissioners approved the final reading of an ordinance on Monday that reduces the speed limit on county roads from 60 mph to 45 mph, unless the road is marked otherwise.

Commissioners are also looking at making further speed reductions in the future to certain targeted areas. They noted that safety is the driving factor behind the decision to change the speed limit and the examination of other areas.

The 60 mph speed limit was deemed by state statute on roads but counties and municipalities may set speed limits on the roads they own and maintain.

Western District Commissioner Bill Allen pointed out that a 60 mph speed limit on many of the county’s roads, including gravel roads, is simply too fast and can be dangerous.

“We’ve spent a year examining this. We’re doing this for safety’s sake,” he told the Trib. “We’ve gotten a lot of complaints from people so it needed to be done.”

The third and final reading of the ordinance setting the maximum speed limit on county roads at 45 mph was unanimously approved at the commissioner’s meeting on Monday, June 4. It was pointed out that the speed limit applies regardless of road’s surface.

Presiding Commissioner Chris Gamm also noted the number of complaints that have been made and added there have been serious accidents as a result of speed, too.

“Maybe this would be one way to reduce some of those accidents and problems,” Gamm said.

Commissioners are looking to place signage at county lines. Allen said that is still being discussed but wanted local motorists to know the law is effective immediately.

Sheriff Stephen Korte told the Trib that this change will not be used for speed traps.

“It will be a good tool to target problem areas,” he remarked. “We don’t want people driving too fast for conditions.”

Allen also pointed out in the meeting on Monday that further examination will be done to determine areas where even slower speed limits are necessary. He said areas with Amish population and where kids walk to school will be reviewed. Additionally, there are roads under the jurisdiction of the county in places like New Hartford and Ashley where the speed limit will need to be lower than 45 mph.

Gamm and Allen said they have received multiple complaints about Road 9 in Frankford that is a dead end with a business and homes with children. Both indicated the new speed limit is designed to make those areas safer.

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