Hundreds Sign Petition to Make Route 24 Safer

Bedford Co, VA -A petition calling for improvements to Route 24 in Bedford County could soon be on the governor's desk, and in front of transportation leaders.

The increase in fatal accidents on the highway are leaving some wanting more to be done to make the road safer.

The first of those two deadly accidents is being attributed to the driver failing to yield the right of way.

The other involved a deer.

Still, hundreds say the road itself is the problem.

As leader of the State Police crash team, 1st Sgt. Michael Bailey sees a lot of things he doesn't like to see out here on Route 24, but the road itself isn't necessarily one of them.

"I think the road is only as dangerous as the people who choose not to take responsibility for the way they drive," Bailey says.

But more than three hundred people are blaming the road.

After two deadly crashes killed three teens in one week, they've signed this petition asking VDOT to widen 24 and lower the speed limit. There would also be street lights, guard rails, and deer signs added.

They're even asking for a longer hunting season to prevent deer related crashes like the one that killed Ashley Barton.

Petitioner Sandra DeLong writes:

"My Grandchildren have to travel on Route 24 to and from school, make this road safer for for our school children and everyone!!"

Allison Woolf adds:

"This road is not safe!! Too many lives are being taken due to poor road condition. By taking action to fix the problems that exist on the road, I believe many many lives could be saved. Something must be done! "

First Sgt. Bailey says State Police are doing something, reporting any trouble spots they see to VDOT, but that this road is no worse than any other we drive.

"Since 2008, there's been 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 total fatal crashes on this highway. In comparison to the other roads in the county, it's less frequent," Bailey added.

A study of route 24 was completed in 2006, by VDOT and Bedford County.

Based on projected traffic volumes by 2030, that study calls for the widening of most of 24 to a four lane divided highway.

That's the only thing the petitioners are asking for that is actually recommended by VDOT.