Make I-24 Safer By Lowering Trucker Speed Limit - And Response (5)

Monday, August 19, 2013

I think the lowering of the speed limit on Main Street was appropriate.  Thanks to the City Council, however, I believe a section of I-24 is more dangerous.   

I wish the Council would look into lowering the speed limit of tractor trailers coming through Chattanooga on I-24.  Now the limit is 55 mph, however, many of these trucks go a little over that speed limit up to around 60 mph.   

There are many accidents and rollovers involving tractor trailers coming through our city.  The truck limit needs to be 45 mph between the I-27/24 split to the I-24/75 split.

I realize that TDOT sets these speed limits but our Council and the state legislators can be a big influence in making I-24 safer.

Russell Bean 

* * * 

Judge Bean is absolutely correct about the need for lower speed limits for truckers on I-24. I lived in Atlanta for 25 years and I-24 from the 75 junction to the  I-24 and 59 split is the most dangerous highway I have ever driven on. 

In addition the minimum speed limit needs to be strictly enforced going up the Ridge Cut. How many times have you seen a truck going 25 miles per hour in the center lane that helps back up traffic all the way to Moccasin Bend.

Douglas Jones
Ooltewah 

* * *

While Russell Bean makes a poignant observation and suggestion, 60 miles per hour between 27 and I-75 on I-24 is nothing compared to the 75-80 mph speeds on I-75 truckers attain from the Ooltewah exit to the Bradley County line. 

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol previously had K-9 and traffic control units camped-out at the base of the Whitwell Mountain incline. But since they were instructed to kowtow to political correctness, THP and HCSD gave up their constant vigil. The side-effect of this abandonment was to give truckers free reign to build up enormously unsafe speeds in order to save a few seconds going over the ridge. The Ooltewah and VW exit construction slowed them for a little while but now there is nothing to keep trucker speed down between the VW exit and Bradley County. It's like qualifying trials for semi-tractor trailers. 

What chance does a 3,000 pound car have against an 80,000 pound tractor-trailer traveling at 80 miles per hour? That truck translates into 23,250,670 joules of energy or 17,115,612 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. While I trust my mathematical skills no further than I can toss a bus, trucks at those speeds invite automotive catastrophe. 

The speed limit in place within Hamilton County for tractor-trailers would be fine, if it were enforced. How refreshing it would be to have speed enforcement units tasked at strategic locations within Hamilton County: The 27/24 split; the approach to the 75/24 split after the ridgecut to East Brainerd Road (and the opposite direction as well); eastbound I-24 after the Ooltewah exit to the county line. Unattended radar vans on Highway 153 and Amnicola Highway with their huge orange cautionary signs announcing your advance to the speed traps do nothing to slow truckers on the interstate (but far be it for me to interfere with Chattanooga's cash cows). 

When the speed limit was lowered a few years back to placate the EPA one couldn't travel 500 yards along Corridor J  without seeing multiple blue flashing lights because of the zero tolerance speed enforcement program. I think a little of this zero-tolerance for high velocity truckers is again warranted until word gets around on Channel 19. Few interstate truckers will take Hamilton County speed limits seriously until this is done. 

10-4, Good Buddy?

David Fihn, Sr. 

* * *

Hmmmmm......  So we're upset because trucks go too fast. And we're upset because trucks go too slow. Maybe we should just ban those pesky trucks from the area. That way we wouldn't have to worry about them at all and could focus on all those cars doing 80 and weaving in and out of traffic on that stretch of 24. Right?  Good grief. 

D.J. Locke 

* * * 

The speed limit is just fine and could be increased to 60 miles per hour. The problem is the aggressive auto and pick-up drivers that weave from lane to lane tailgate and cut in in front of the 18-wheelers. The big trucks are mostly driven very responsibly. 

John L. Odom 

 * * *

As a commercial driver I would bet high stakes that trucks are safer than the majority of passenger vehicles on the interstate. How many of you car drivers do a federally mandated twice daily 90+ point inspection of your vehicle? How many of you car drivers are restricted by law how many hours you can drive in a day?  

Commercial vehicles are regulated to death. We drivers even just inherited a whole new mess of laws to follow. It's called CSA 2010. 

Go ahead impose, yet again, another restriction on us and remember at one time everything you own was on a truck. Without trucks you would have nothing. 

Matt Branum
East Ridge


Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)

David Carroll: Touched By Alzheimer’s, A Thanksgiving Love Story

I want to share a Thanksgiving love story. Those smiles belong to Jim and Andi Erwin of Collegedale, now married 45 years. Jim is 68, Andi is 63.  I met them last summer, and fell in love immediately. Andi is a talker. Full of life, with energy to spare. Jim used to be a talker, an award-winning one. In his youth he was a teacher and pastor, very well-educated. Simply put, ... (click for more)

Grote Hall At UTC Campus Closed Due To Sinkhole

A sinkhole has prompted UTC officials to close off access to Grote Hall. Grote Hall employees have been told they do not need to report to work on Monday. Classes that are held in Grote Hall are called off for Monday. All other classes and campus activities are on for Monday. (click for more)

Bradley County Police Investigating Shooting; Victim Dies

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Georgetown Road. The sheriff's office said Sunday night that the victim had died. The victim's name has not yet been released.  A BCSO officer was waved down at the intersection of 25 th Street and Peerless Road by the driver of a vehicle who told the officer a gunshot victim ... (click for more)

Football Mocs Receive No. 8 Seed For FCS Playoffs

The hugs, high fives and first pumps by the Tennessee at Chattanooga football players late Sunday morning let everyone know in Moc Nation that the Blue and Gold had received a highy-coveted seed and would be hosting a second round NCAA FCS playoff game Dec 6 at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. "When the television announcers called our name as the No.8 seed (out of eight ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)