LONGVIEW, Ill. (WCIA) — Hundreds of crashes happen on rural roads in Champaign County every year and two groups are doing something to help stop that from happening.
State police say people blow through county road intersections and that causes accidents. It’s even worse when crops get high and create blind spots.
The Champaign County highway department and rural township commissioners plan to put up stop signs at every rural intersection. There are more than 300 of them.
On many county roads, cars wiz past the intersections.
Jeff Watson says, “Nobody has the right of way here. Some slow down, most of them do not.”
It’s a big problem. The highway department says in Champaign County an average of 468 crashes happen every year on rural township and county roads. One of those happened right outside Watson’s house in Longview. There are tread marks on his front lawn. They’re what’s left of the accident.
‘Both cars were totalled. A baby was involved. The baby did not get hurt but both cars were hauled away and they went to the hospital.”
He says the cars collided near the intersection. If you look, there are no stop signs. So to help stop these accidents from happening the county plans to put a stop sign at each of the 300 rural county road intersections that don’t already have them.
Watson says, “A stop sign at every intersection or at least two stop signs at each intersection is a good thing to have.”
The highway department says studies show putting in stop signs can reduce the number of crashes by 22%.
County engineer Jeff Blue says, “Too many fatalities out on the rural roads. Eleven fatalities on the intersections alone. We had 700 crashes in a five year period out in the rural area.”
He says this will put a dent in the problem, but the rest is up to drivers. The county plans to start putting these stop signs up this July. The county doesn’t know yet how much this will cost. But most of the money to complete the project will come from a federal grant. The rest will come from tax dollars.