SNOW HILL – With a new speed limit of 40 mph on Beauchamp Rd. approved this week, motorists will need to hit the brakes or be on the lookout for police when they travel that way now.
The County Commissioners voted on Tuesday to lower the speed limit on Tuesday after a handful of Ocean Pines residents sent the officials a letter asking for the reduction.
The letter described the well-used street as “a narrow two-mile road with deep drainage ditches on both sides of the road and no suitable shoulder.”
One of the letter signers was Ocean Pines resident Bill Killinger.
“There are a number of people who bike or walk or jog on Beauchamp Rd.,” said Killinger. “It’s just a safety hazard.”
County Commissioner Linda Busick, who lives just off Beachamp Rd. and drives it every day, supported the change, but felt it should go even lower.
“There are no shoulders on Beachamp Rd. I feel it should be reduced to 40 mph,” said Busick, adding she would prefer the speed limit be reduced to 35 mph.
The road is well-used by local residents and as the truck entrance to Ocean Pines.
Worcester County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Doug Dods pointed out, “we have researched and cannot find any collisions on Beachamp Rd. in the last nine years.”
That includes vehicle-animal collisions, Dod wrote.
Sheriff Chuck Martin wrote in an e-mail that he “would be content with a 40 mph limit.”
“Currently, it’s posted at 50 mph. They did not make a suggestion of what it should be,” said Public Works Director John Tustin.
Commissioner Louise Gulyas said, “I didn’t know it was that high back there.”
The commissioners voted unanimously to reduce the speed limit from 50 to 40 mph.
“It’s a good idea. We could have used a lower reduction but we’ll try this for awhile,” Killinger said. “We’ll live with 40 mph and see how that goes.”
Killinger said he would have preferred a reduction to 35 mph. The letter did not specify how far the speed limit should he reduced, however.
The Public Works department changed the old signs to new Wednesday morning.
“I hope people will realize there’s a reduction in the speed limit and take reasonable care driving on the road,” Killinger said.
“We’ll ask the sheriff to go out and sit out there,” added Gulyas.