Statement issued Monday by the office of state Sen. Jim Banks:
Efforts made by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to highlight a dangerous intersection in Columbia City have motivated state transportation officials to take action.
At Banks’ request, the Indiana Department of Transportation conducted a traffic study – including a review of crashes – at the U.S. 30-S.R. 205 intersection over the past five years. In that span, 46 collisions were reported resulting in one fatality and 14 serious injuries.
In all, 24 of the reported crashes were rear-end collisions and 21 of those occurred on U.S. 30.
Banks said INDOT plans to install rumble strips – traffic control devices that produce an audible vibration within the car transmitted through the wheels – designed to alert drivers of the upcoming stop.
“I have lived near this intersection most of my life and many motorists ignore the stoplight," Banks said. “I asked officials at Indiana’s Department of Transportation to study the possibility of using rumble strips to help alert drivers of this busy intersection. Our goals are to improve visibility, recognition and compliance at this intersection in order to help prevent injuries and save lives.”
According to INDOT reports, a majority of crashes at the intersection involved a motorist ignoring a red light and subsequently hitting a driver trying to make a turn. Reports revealed many drivers indicated they were “trying to beat the light.” Others said “they didn’t know whether to stop or run it.”
Banks said efforts to further protect motorists will continue as INDOT officials plan to study the timing of the lights at the intersection to determine whether changes might decrease the likelihood of crashes. Once the Parkview Whitley Hospital is open, the state also plans to review the intersection again as traffic flow is expected to increase.