Tyrone preaches safety

No community should set speed limits abnormally low, with the main purpose being to increase the number of tickets to raise revenue.

Creating a “cash cow” isn’t behind Tyrone Borough’s desire to lower the speed limit on three avenues — Lincoln, Blair and Cameron — to below 25 mph, which is their current posted limit.

The reason is safety.

Motorists routinely ignore the 25 mph limit, creating potentially hazardous situations that have caused Blair and Lincoln residents to voice complaints that have caught the ear of borough officials.

There’s no way that the borough police department can provide 24-hour surveillance of the roadways so traffic will be kept within the approved speed limit. Meanwhile, the borough can’t just remove current speed limit signs and install new ones.

That’s because state law prohibits municipalities from setting speed limits on side streets lower than 25 mph without a traffic study being conducted first.

For Tyrone and the speeding problem in question, the issue, going forward, is money.

It seems reasonable to conclude that even the people who have lodged speeding complaints understand that the municipality has financial limitations.

Each year, Blair’s municipalities prepare responsible, balanced budgets that don’t have much proverbial wiggle room, and Tyrone Borough is no exception.

As an article in Oct. 26 Mirror reported, Tyrone has two options: an in-house study or through a hired consultant at a total estimated cost of $7,500.

It would seem that the borough would have more solid ground in defending whatever speed limit or speed limits ultimately were decided upon, if recommended limits were based on a study conducted by someone not affiliated with the borough government.

But that might push study financing to the 2018 budget, and not being able to implement the study recommendations until months into the new year.

That means the current potential for speed-related accidents would exist for much longer than borough officials and residents of the streets deem acceptable.

The question then becomes how much an in-house study would cost, how much time those conducting the study would have to be away from their regular duties, and whether unforeseen circumstances would arise in connection with the locally conducted evaluation.

Borough officials accepted the responsibility to make decisions such as the one that will be needed when they sought their governmental positions.

“No ifs, ands or buts” is the way Councilman Terry Richardson expressed the need for lower speed limits on the three streets.

About the current 25 mph limit, Mayor Bill Latchford said motorists were “blowing it away.”

Also, Latchford said he wondered whether drivers would drive slower even if the speed limits were lowered.

That’s a logical question.

Some motorists passing through Tyrone might be amused when they see the signs attached to stop sign poles — below the stop signs — that read “Complete stops free; rolling stops $129 plus 3 points. Your choice. Tyrone Police Department.”

There might be a time, if lower speed limits are adopted, when signs with a similar message in regard to driving too fast might be effective.

Suffice to say that steps aimed at ensuring safety shouldn’t brand Tyrone a speed trap.

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